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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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.