Here we go again. Stocks are bumping up against all-time highs. Investors are enjoying the ride, but are understandably worried they'll be the ones to buy at the top.
Buying stocks at tops, of course, is a bad move since most stocks feel the pain. But if it's any comfort, there are 14 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500, including ExxonMobil, Kellogg and lots of utilities like Wisconsin Energy and energy firms like Southwestern Energy, that have held up significantly better than the market during each and every one of the past three market peaks, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.
To make the list, these stocks needed to outperform the S&P 500 by at least 15 percentage points during each of the past three market downturns between the bull top and the bear bottoms as defined by S&P Capital IQ strategy expert Sam Stovall.
Look, no one wants to talk about market pullbacks when the market is ripping like it is now. Being conservative during bull markets can actually be costly if investors miss out on gains. But not being prepared for the inevitable pullback can be even more dangerous as investors see much of their bull market gains evaporate.
And that's why, when everyone else is partying, it's wise to at least know about stocks that have been almost Teflon-coated during downturns.
Below are the 14 S&P 500 stocks that beat the S&P 500 by at least 15 percentage points in each of the past three downturns: