The Dow and the S&P 500 have been hitting heights not seen in more than four years. However, consumer-staples giant Procter & Gamble and health-care heavy hitter Johnson & Johnson haven't budged much. P&G is up 2% this year, and J&J is up 3%.
Their movement highlights an interesting aspect of these traditional winners. In good markets, these Steady Eddies tend to lag the market. But they tend to more than make up for it during down times as previous highfliers crash to Earth.
In bad times, there are many bargains amongst the rubble. So it's in the good times, when bargains are harder to come by, that P&G and J&J become more intriguing.
Many folks start looking for defensive stocks after a crash, but for contrarians, the time to look at companies like P&G and J&J is when the market's up. Fool analyst Anand Chokkavelu explains in the following video.
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Anand Chokkavelu and The Motley Fool own shares of Johnson & Johnson. Andrew Tonner has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.