Two weeks ago, I singled out five stocks that appeared to be more than just recession-resistant. With fundamentals made to thrive in difficult times, they're positioned to be recession-resplendent.

I figured I'd take a look back at those picks now that the market's seemingly begun to rally. After a week and change of lavishing love even on loser stocks, would these recessionary darlings take a turn for the worse? With a bigger pool of potential stocks to buy in this go-go environment, would investors bail on these recessionary plays to load up on languishing equities more closely tied to the state of the economy?

The answer, on both counts, is a resounding "nope!"









Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ:GMCR)




American Public Education (NASDAQ:APEI)




TASER International (NASDAQ:TASR)




Life Partners Holdings (NASDAQ:LPHI)




Heads you win, tails you win again
I'm not trying to brag. The market has been refreshingly strong in that time, with the S&P 500 soaring 11% over the course of the same 11 trading days. Yes, all five of the picks have narrowly beaten the market in that time, but with gains between 13% and 19%, the real surprise lies in the consistency of their performance.

To get you up to speed with the recession-happy thesis behind these five picks, I'll give you Twitter-friendly arguments in 140 characters or less.

  • Netflix has added 600,00 new subscribers during just the first six weeks of 2009, validating its appeal with couch potatoes.
  • Green Mountain is thriving at the expense of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), selling 711,000 of its Keurig home brewers over the holidays.
  • American Public runs online degree programs, specializing in military personnel who want to improve on their resumes.
  • TASER is the "don't Tase me, bro" stun gun maker, an attractive crime deterrent when good things go sour.
  • Life Partners brokers life settlements, allowing money-hungry seniors the ability to cash out of their life insurance policies early. 

Checking in checks out
The story hasn't changed a whole lot for these stocks this month. American Public Education was the only one of the bunch to put out material news over the past two weeks, when it posted market-thumping quarterly results. It has now beaten Wall Street expectations in each of its first five quarters as a public company.

Life Partners was perhaps the most controversial pick -- something that must make TASER secretly envious -- as the result of a gloomy report from the bearish sleuths at Citron Research a month earlier. But the company was already trading well below where it was when Citron penned its pessimistic treatise on Feb. 11.

Many of Citron's critiques do warrant further consideration, including its concerns about the CEO's past and the company's ability to keep its fees from shrinking in an increasingly competitive climate for life settlements. However, many of the other knocks -- like fears of the stability of the life insurance industry and a lack of analyst coverage -- are flimsy at best.

Either way, the market for life settlements is promising at a time when other capital-raising outlets for seniors like reverse mortgages and opening credit lines aren't feasible.

The arguments for Netflix and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are less controversial. If a Green Mountain licensed K-Cup lets me make a cup of premium flavored coffee at home for the equivalent of roughly $0.40, the convenience will win me over, even when I can afford the $4 double latte hit at Starbucks.

Netflix may not be as cheap as the buck rentals out of Redbox kiosks, or as immediate as the local Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) store for major new releases, but as someone who has been a Netflix subscriber for seven years now, I can tell you that its convenience is addictive.

As a member of the Rule Breakers newsletter team, I'm tasked with unearthing consumer stocks that are disrupting their sectors. I don't have one of the picks in this month's new issue -- which comes out tonight, actually -- but I wish I did. The way the market's been rallying these days, who wouldn't want to step up to plate with the bases loaded?

These stocks may be built for a recession, but since Mr. Market's still showing them some love as optimism begins to rise, they could do just as well in an economic recovery, too.

Other ways to coast through recessionary pressures:

Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Starbucks and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. TASER International is a former Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix shareholder -- and subscriber -- since 2002. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.