Best Consumer Defensive Stocks

Even in difficult economic times, people will still spend their money on health-related items, households will need utilities and consumers will buy household goods. Here are some stocks you may want to add to your portfolio.

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Walmart (NYSE: WMT)

Walmart is a multinational retail corporation that’s grown into the largest retailer in the world over the last 50 years. Through innovation, the corporation has created a seamless shopping experience both in-store and online. It operates close to 11,500 stores in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries.

The company first went public in 1970 and provides an annual cash dividend, paid quarterly to all shareholders. WMT employs close to 2.2 million associates worldwide and reported $524 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020. As of March 18, 2020, WMT had 217,840 holders of its common stock. WMT reported a price-to-earnings ratio of $24.94 and earnings per share of $5.19.

130.17 -1.23 (-0.94%)
Volume 9.74M Market Cap 368.29B
130.02 - 132.75
102 - 153.6597
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Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO)

Should the economic recession last longer than experts anticipate, Coca-Cola is well-positioned for potential volatility. That’s because as a premier soft drinks and beverages provider, Coca-Cola benefits from the “cheap thrill” thesis. Essentially, its products offer a cheap, sugary high – a brief respite from the doldrums.

In addition, KO stock affords stakeholders a reliable business. Over the trailing year, EPS is $1.80. Moreover, Coca-Cola offers a fairly sizable dividend yield at 3.3%.

50.10 0.22 (0.44%)
Volume 11.76M Market Cap 215.90B
49.7 - 50.56
36.27 - 59
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Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)

Founded in 1837, the Procter & Gamble Company is a global leader in healthcare and home essentials. It manufactures and distributes products to more than 180 countries around the world. Procter & Gamble owns and operates several brands such as Pampers, Ariel, Tide, Whisper, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay and Old Spice.

The healthcare stock has a market cap of $335 billion and an EPS of $5.23. It has a 52-week low of $94.34 and a 52-week high of $146.92. Procter & Gamble has an annual dividend yield of $3.16 per share. It has high liquidity and trades more than 3.5 million shares per day. The company generated revenue of $67 billion in 2019.

123.86 -0.37 (-0.3%)
Volume 10.21M Market Cap 305.00B
123.43 - 124.86
94.34 - 146.92
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Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of 785 membership-only warehouses worldwide, 546 of which are in the U.S. It carries quality, brand-name merchandise at lower prices than you’ll typically find through retail sources or conventional warehouses. You can also shop for private label Kirkland Signature™ products.

In fiscal 2019, the company reported $149 billion in net sales, an 8% increase from the previous year. The net income was $3.66 billion, or $8.26 per share, a 17% increase from the previous year. In the U.S. and Canada market, its membership renewal rate reached a record high 91%. The company has since expanded its quality offerings from premium brands like Weber, Sony, Columbia Sportswear and Apple. Costco employs 254,000 personnel worldwide and intends to launch e-commerce operations in Japan and Australia in fiscal 2020.

328.46 -3.31 (-1%)
Volume 4.66M Market Cap 145.49B
328.42 - 334.64
271.28 - 393.15
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Ingles Markets (NASDAQ: IMKTA)

Ingles Markets is a supermarket company in the U.S. Its offerings include grocery, meat, diary products, frozen foods and other edibles. It also offers non-food products such as fuel, pharmaceutical products, healthcare products, beauty care products and organic products. It runs 198 super markets across the U.S.

The supermarket stock has a market cap of $771 million and has an EPS of $6.99. It has a 52-week low of $32.21 and a 52-week high of $49.14. Ingles Markets has an annual dividend yield of $0.66 per share. It has high liquidity and trades more than 116,915 shares per day. Ingles Markets generated revenue of $4.2 billion in 2019.

55.27 0.52 (0.95%)
Volume 14.63K Market Cap 1.12B
53.83 - 55.81
32.21 - 54.93
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Biggest Consumer Defensive Movers of the Day

The movers of the day list may help you identify promising consumer defensive stock. Stock prices often react from news about foreign markets or competition.

The data provided below is intended for educational purposes only, we have included the session dates for your reference.

Premarket Consumer Defensive Stocks
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
LEXX 6.49 0.54 9.07% Trade
DAR 67.69 3.63 5.66% Trade
HIMS 16.045 0.825 5.42% Trade
PRMW 14.755 0.455 3.18% Trade
JVA 5.16 0.15 2.99% Trade
DTEA 3.8395 0.099 2.66% Trade
HLF 46.52 1.1 2.42% Trade
FDP 26.43 0.58 2.24% Trade
EAST 1.911 0.041 2.19% Trade
KOF 44.215 0.905 2.08% Trade
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
PETZ 3.05 -0.3 -8.96% Trade
PRDO 12.255 -1.055 -7.93% Trade
STRA 79.75 -6.74 -7.8% Trade
NAII 15.1601 -1.18 -7.23% Trade
TGT 173.51 -12.58 -6.77% Trade
GSX 98.855 -6.095 -5.81% Trade
SMPL 28.99 -1.74 -5.67% Trade
BYND 139.63 -7.475 -5.09% Trade
TANH 1.5697 -0.08 -4.87% Trade
LRN 24.16 -1.17 -4.62% Trade
Market Consumer Defensive Stocks
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
GSX 117.2 12.25 11.67% Trade
CLXT 10.4 0.75 7.77% Trade
HIMS 16.35 1.13 7.42% Trade
UTZ 26.948 1.418 5.55% Trade
APPH 32 1.24 4.03% Trade
BYND 153 5.895 4% Trade
DOGZ 2.1 0.07 3.44% Trade
RIBT 1.04 0.03 2.97% Trade
FAMI 1.43 0.04 2.87% Trade
TANH 1.69 0.04 2.42% Trade
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
NTCO 15.78 -0.67 -4.08% Trade
ELF 26.19 -1.01 -3.72% Trade
ABEV 2.41 -0.09 -3.6% Trade
BRFS 3.78 -0.11 -2.83% Trade
AACG 5.01 -0.14 -2.72% Trade
LAIX 2.65 -0.06 -2.22% Trade
RLX 19.49 -0.39 -1.97% Trade
TWOU 41 -0.71 -1.71% Trade
EAST 1.84 -0.03 -1.61% Trade
PRMW 14.09 -0.21 -1.47% Trade
After Hours Consumer Defensive Stocks
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
LINC 6.2 0.18 2.99% Trade
CLEU 4.02 0.11 2.81% Trade
PLIN 1.13 0.03 2.72% Trade
YQ 13.91 0.3 2.2% Trade
FLO 22.55 0.45 2.03% Trade
TANH 1.59 0.02 1.27% Trade
REED 1.0901 0.01 0.93% Trade
TTCF 21.22 0.19 0.9% Trade
RLX 19.12 0.16 0.84% Trade
HRL 47.23 0.39 0.83% Trade
Symbol Last Price Change % Change Trade
BGS 28.5 -1.92 -6.32% Trade
GO 34 -2.14 -5.93% Trade
STG 1.15 -0.03 -2.55% Trade
RYB 3.33 -0.06 -1.77% Trade
LAIX 2.58 -0.04 -1.53% Trade
HIMS 15.8 -0.24 -1.5% Trade
PETZ 2.98 -0.03 -1% Trade
RIBT 1.03 -0.01 -0.97% Trade
CELH 63.4 -0.6 -0.94% Trade
LEXX 6.48 -0.05 -0.77% Trade

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Defensive stock trading is an all-weather type of investment. It can keep your pockets stuffed through market turbulence, even when the wider market is struggling. People can’t cut back on consumer staples (think beverage and tobacco products, household goods, personal products and food and drug retailers). 

Here are 5 consumer defensive stocks that deserve your attention.

Overview: Consumer Defensive Stocks

The consumer sector produces products people need almost on a daily basis. Consumer defensive stocks are great investments in virtually any economic environment, including economic slowdowns.

Unlike cyclical stocks, which are highly dependent on the economic cycle, defensive stocks generate stable profits through all stages of the economic cycle. The simple idea behind investing in defensive stocks is to shield against significant decreases in share prices, which occur during either bear markets or market corrections.

Although consumer defensive sectors offer price stability through the economic cycle, the tradeoff is that they experience less growth during market upswings compared to higher-risk, cyclical sectors. The industry groups considered to be defensive include:

  • Consumer staples
  • Healthcare
  • Commodities
  • Utilities

Best Online Brokers for Consumer Defensive Stock

Online brokers don’t just let you execute and track stock trades. They provide extensive research material, tools to backtest strategies and charting capabilities for better market analysis. Here’s a list of the best brokers in the industry.

Best For
Intermediate Traders and Investors
Overall Rating
Get started securely through Webull’s website
Best For
Intermediate Traders and Investors
1 Minute Review

Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.

Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Intermediate traders
  • Advanced traders
  • Commission-free trading in over 5,000 different stocks and ETFs
  • No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
  • No charges to open and maintain an account
  • Leverage of 4:1 on margin trades made the same day and leverage of 2:1 on trades held overnight
  • Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
  • Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks
Best For
Futures Trading
Overall Rating
Get started securely through TradeStation’s website
Best For
Futures Trading
1 Minute Review

TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.

Best For
  • Advanced traders
  • Options and futures traders
  • Active stock traders
  • Comprehensive trading platform and professional-grade tools
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Fully-operational mobile app
  • Confusing pricing structure to leave new traders with a weak understanding of what they pay
  • Cluttered layout to make navigating TradeStation’s platform more difficult than it should be
Best For
Options Trading
Overall Rating
Get started securely through TD Ameritrade’s website
Best For
Options Trading
1 Minute Review

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

Best For
  • Novice investors
  • Retirement savers
  • Day traders
  • World-class trading platforms
  • Detailed research reports and Education Center
  • Assets ranging from stocks and ETFs to derivatives like futures and options
  • Thinkorswim can be overwhelming to inexperienced traders
  • Derivatives trading more costly than some competitors
  • Expensive margin rates
Best For
Advanced traders
Overall Rating
Get started securely through Moomoo’s website
Best For
Advanced traders
1 Minute Review

Moomoo is a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices. A subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd., it’s backed by venture capital affiliates of Matrix, Sequoia, and Tencent (NASDAQ: FUTU). Securities offered by Futu Inc., regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Moomoo is another great alternative for Robinhood. This is an outstanding trading platform if you want to dive deep into smart trading. It offers impressive trading tools and opportunities for both new and advanced traders, including advanced charting, pre and post-market trading, international trading, research and analysis tools, and most popular of all, free Level 2 quotes.

Get started right away by downloading Moomoo to your phone, tablet or another mobile device.

Best For
  • Cost-conscious traders
  • Novice traders
  • Active/Advanced traders
  • Free Level 2 market data for all users who open an account
  • Commission-free trading in over 5,000 different stocks and ETFs
  • Over 8,000 different stocks that can be sold short
  • $0 contract fee for trading options, no commission either
  • Strong market data and analysis tools with over 50 technical indicators
  • Access trading and quotes in pre-market (4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET) and post-market hours (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET)
  • No minimum deposit to open an account.
  • Active trading community with more than 100,000 app users
  • No phone or chat support

Features to Look for in Consumer Defensive Stocks

  • Market share is a huge determinant of stock profitability. It’s the proportion of an industry’s total output, capacity or sales that a company is responsible for over a given period. Capturing a dominant share of the market is valuable for 2 main reasons — companies you invest in that capture the lion’s share of the market tend to offer the highest profits and keep up with competitive threats. A leading brand will easily secure a lot of shelf space with retailers. The aim is to increase its sales margin faster than the larger industry, therefore increasing market share over time.  
  • Same-store sales growth helps put revenue data in perspective. Also referred to as comparable store sales, it’s the measure of revenue and sales growth from existing store locations. This metric helps you assess the operating momentum of a business, whether it attracts huge customer traffic and stands out from the competition. Weak comparable store sales could be a sign of scaling business challenges.
  • Profit margins may help you evaluate the earnings power of consumer staple companies. Top consumer staples companies post market-leading profit margins attributable to large sales bases, valuable brands and effective operating structures. Higher margins on this metric often indicate stronger earnings and a greater stock pricing power. 

Defend Your Portfolio Against a Stock Market Shock

Having a few consumer defensive stocks can help you hedge against stock market shocks. Although these stocks aren’t the best performers in a bull market, they usually go up when the market slips. A portfolio containing defensives is more likely to offer a dividend. A regular income is always nice to have, especially during tough economic times.

Turn to Webull

0 Commissions and no deposit minimums. Everyone gets smart tools for smart investing. Webull supports full extended hours trading, which includes full pre-market (4:00 AM - 9:30 AM ET) and after hours (4:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET) sessions. Webull Financial LLC is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is also a member of the SIPC, which protects (up to $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash) against the loss of cash and securities held by a customer at a financially-troubled SIPC-member brokerage firm.