Fear has once again returned to the financial markets.
An alarmingly high number of new COVID-19 cases across the U.S. and many other countries is forcing investors to once again consider the potentially devastating health and economic impact of the deadly disease.
And yet, even in the middle of a global pandemic, there are ways to protect and grow your wealth. Here are five outstanding companies that can help you do so -- and that you can safely invest in today.
While many businesses will suffer during the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) stands to benefit from a coronavirus-driven acceleration in the growth of e-commerce. The online retail juggernaut served as a lifeline for millions of people while they sheltered in place during the early stages of the pandemic. Many people shopped on Amazon.com for the first time during this period, and now that they've seen firsthand the savings and convenience online shopping can provide, they're likely to remain loyal customers even as stay-at-home orders end.
2. Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is one of the companies working to create a potentially life-saving vaccine for COVID-19. The healthcare titan has partnered with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to accelerate the development of its vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Just days ago, J&J announced that it would begin clinical trials in the second half of July, about two months sooner than expected. J&J has committed to spending more than $1 billion to fund these efforts, and it's already ramping up its manufacturing capabilities, in order to be able to make over 1 billion doses, should its vaccine prove safe and effective.
The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for a huge swath of the traditional retail industry. Thousands of brick-and-mortar stores were forced to close due to stay-at-home orders, and, sadly, many will never reopen. Entrepreneurs are adapting to this new post-pandemic reality by embracing e-commerce, and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is giving them the tools they need to be successful. Shopify serves as an online retail operating system for businesses of all sizes, with tools that allow merchants to build online stores, manage inventory, process payments, ship products, and even apply for loans. Shopify has become an invaluable partner for more than 1 million businesses, and it's likely to play a key role in an eventual economic recovery.
The coronavirus pandemic has placed cleaning and sanitizing efforts in the spotlight, and companies like Clorox (NYSE:CLX) provide consumers with the products that make them feel safe. Clorox produces several of the items on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of disinfectant products that are effective against the novel coronavirus. Moreover, buying shares of Clorox could help you profit from the surging demand for bleach, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a financial powerhouse. With more than $90 billion in net cash on its fortress-like balance sheet and over $65 billion in annual operating profits, the technology titan can withstand a stock market crash better than perhaps any other business. In fact, a lower stock price could work in investors' favor, as Apple would be able to repurchase its shares at even more attractive prices -- and remaining shareholders would be entitled to an even greater share of its enormous profits. Better still, those profits are set to increase, fueled by projected growth in Apple's booming services and wearables businesses, as well as a likely 5G-driven iPhone refresh cycle in the coming years.