U.S. stock markets are in a precarious situation. Although growth stocks have been in rebound mode this year after a sharp downturn in 2022, a possible economic recession, the ongoing crisis of confidence among regional banks, and the central bank's decision to continue ratcheting up interest rates could cause a reversal at some point in 2023.

On the flip side, there is fairly good a chance that growth stocks will simply brush off these headwinds to push even higher as the year unfolds. The steady drumbeat of negative headlines, after all, has yet to halt -- or even slow -- the broad-based rally in this group of equities so far this year. 

Chalkboard drawing of three levels of risk.

Image source: Getty Images.

Fortunately, there are a handful of top-notch growth stocks that are also inherently low risk. The two tech stocks discussed below are prime examples. Read on to find out why these low-risk growth equities might be worth buying right now. 

1. Microsoft

Microsoft (MSFT 0.22%) is a sprawling tech giant with a sizable presence in artificial intelligence (AI), business solutions, cloud computing, devices, gaming, and software as a service (SaaS), among many others. The company's main cash cows are its legacy operating system (Windows) and its Microsoft Office suite of products for commercial and retail customers.

Wrapped around these reliable revenue generators are Microsoft's host of growth-oriented businesses, such as its cloud computing juggernaut Azure, its potent business intelligence offering known as the Power Platform, and its sizable gaming franchise. The company is also rapidly integrating AI elements into nearly all of its platforms.

Microsoft's favorable mix of entrenched tech ecosystems and newer, pioneering platforms in high-growth areas like cloud computing have been a boon for its annual revenue, free-cash-flow generation, and share price over the past decade. In its most recent fiscal quarter, for instance, Microsoft posted a healthy 7% year-over-year rise in revenue to $52.9 billion, producing a whopping $17.8 billion in free cash flow in the process. Its highly diversified business model has caused its shares to rise by a staggering 832% over the prior 10-year period. 

MSFT Chart

MSFT data by YCharts

Why is Microsoft low risk? Even though the tech giant's shares are trading at a sizable premium, and there could be a slowdown in consumer spending on discretionary items like gaming in the upcoming quarters, Microsoft's Azure, Power Platform, AI elements, and SaaS offerings are all likely to prove vital to many businesses in this challenging economic environment. As a result, the company's core value drivers ought to be relatively immune to an economic downturn.  

2. Nvidia 

Nvidia (NVDA 1.75%) is the current market share leader of the high-value graphics processing unit (GPU) space. GPUs are used to enhance the visual experience on a wide variety of computing platforms. Beyond gaming, Nvidia's chips have also proven vital to the development of groundbreaking technologies like cryptocurrency, self-driving vehicles, digital biology, advanced robotics, and generative AI systems. The company's fundamental importance to the ongoing AI revolution has fueled a massive spike in its share price this year:

This meteoric rise in Nvidia's stock has attracted a fair amount of pushback from bears, however. The core reason is that the chipmaker's fundamentals have been moving in the wrong direction over the prior 12 months, and this highly anticipated AI bonanza may ultimately turn out to be more of a longer-term growth driver. Speaking to these points, Nvidia's adjusted earnings per share plummeted 25% in its fiscal 2023 and its top line came in flat for the year. In short, the chipmaker's AI exposure has yet to pay off from a growth standpoint. 

So why is Nvidia's stock low risk? Admittedly, Nvidia is a bit of a contrarian pick in this regard. The company sports a premium valuation that doesn't appear to be supported by its current growth trajectory. Indeed, the stock is presently trading at a forward-looking earnings yield of 2.1%, making it pricey relative to most other tech stocks, as well as risk-free assets such as T-bills. But this hefty premium is arguably well deserved for one key reason. 

The big picture is that Nvidia is highly likely to evolve into a major catalyst behind the AI revolution. What's important to understand is that this market is forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030, according to a report from Grand View Research. If this proves to be true, Nvidia's stock will turn out to be a downright bargain at these levels. So while Nvidia shares may not leap off the page as a "low risk" growth opportunity, the ongoing adoption of AI across a multitude of platforms and industries says otherwise.