While some investors may be discouraged by the market volatility that has continued from last year into 2023, the fact remains that truly great businesses are still growing even in an ongoing economic maelstrom.

While a full-fledged recession has the ability to hamper growth across a range of businesses and sectors, when you're looking at a multi-year buy-and-hold horizon for any stock you own, even these periods can be a short window against your overall investment period. 

If you're looking to put just $500 into stocks this week, here are two companies to consider when you do. 

1. DexCom

DexCom (DXCM -0.01%) has built a name for itself as a leader in diabetes care, a highly fragmented space with increasing levels of competition. However, as of 2022, the company controls roughly 40% of the global continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device market, a space that garnered a valuation of $7.8 billion last year.

In the first quarter of 2023, DexCom reported that revenue hit $742 million, up 18% from the same period in 2022. This growth rate was driven by 21% revenue growth in international markets and 17% in the U.S. in the three-month period. The company generated earnings of $49 million for the quarter, down slightly on a year-over-year basis but up 23% on a two-year basis.

The company is in the process of executing the global launch of its G7 CGM, most recently in the U.S. Although it's still early days, in DexCom's first-quarter earnings report, CEO Kevin Sayer noted the following: 

We have seen a steady ramp of new users, and the initial feedback from both customers and clinicians has been consistently great. We have also seen this product attracting new prescribers altogether. Already in the early weeks of this rollout, nearly 1,000 healthcare providers have prescribed G7 who previously were not prescribing DexCom CGM.  

Bear in mind that there are millions of diabetics around the world that could still benefit from CGMs but aren't using them. There is also significant untapped potential in the type 2 diabetes market, the most frequently diagnosed version of the disease, which alone afflicts as many as 95% of all Americans with diabetes.

This addressable market is not only large but expanding due to a range of factors, including the rising incidence of diabetes globally and more favorable private and public coverage options making CGMs more accessible to the patient population. When you factor in DexCom's significant leadership in this space, it would appear that the stock still has plenty of room to run. 

2. Airbnb

The demand for curated, unique, and long-term stays didn't originate with Airbnb (ABNB 1.48%), but the travel giant has taken this concept to an entirely new level in the nearly 15 years since the company's inception. Despite the fact that fears of a recession continue to linger and the travel industry is fueled by heavy levels of discretionary spending, Airbnb keeps going from strength to strength.

The most recent quarter represented record growth on multiple fronts, a trend that has been building in the series of quarters that Airbnb has reported since its recovery from the travel doldrums of the pandemic. The company hit 121 million nights and experiences booked in the three-month period alone, up 19% from the prior year and 49% from the same quarter in 2019.  

Airbnb generated revenue of $1.8 billion and a net income of $117 million (or $151 million, excluding foreign currency fluctuations) in the first quarter of 2023. That revenue figure was up 117% on a four-year basis. Meanwhile, its earnings stand in contrast to a net loss of $19 million in the same quarter last year, representing its inaugural first quarter of profitability. Free cash flow came in at $1.6 billion for the three-month period, up 32% from one year ago and 471% from four years ago.  

Airbnb is regularly cultivating and upgrading its platform offerings to make them more attractive for both hosts and guests. People are increasingly looking to Airbnb as a way to earn extra cash, with active listings on the platform at the end of the first quarter representing an 18% jump on a year-over-year basis. Long-term stays of 28 days or more comprised 18% of all gross bookings completed in the three-month period, compared to just 13% in the first quarter of 2019.  

If a recession hits, any company with exposure to the travel industry will be affected, and Airbnb is no exception. However, the diverse types of stays, hosts, and guests that its platform caters to, and its continued record growth and profitability, are building upon a strong core business poised to withstand a storm. Investors who stay along for the ride may find it was well worth the wait.