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Safe harbor for investors as markets dive: Analysts

Safe ports in a market storm
Safe ports in a market storm

Investors are bracing for what could be a bumpy ride after the People's Bank of China devalued the yuan by nearly 2 percent overnight.

The VIX index, which measures market volatility, peaked at more than 14 percent Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Dow plunged over 200 points, the S&P 500 slipped by about 1 percent and the NASDAQ 1.26 percent.

Is there safe harbor for investors? Analysts offer a few key stocks that may be stable picks. (Tweet This)


Investors could benefit from backing real estate investment trusts (REITs), or companies that own or finance income-producing real estate, according to John Traynor, senior vice president and chief investment officer with People's United Bank, and Michael Binger, Gradient Investments senior portfolio manager.

Specifically, Traynor thinks that Vanguard REIT ETF, an exchange-traded fund that invests in real estate investment trusts, is a safe bet.

"We think you could see about 8 percent growth in cash flow next year, which makes [REITs] fairly attractive," he told CNBC's "Power Lunch."

REITs may offer some safe investment opportunities, but this would only work if interest rates don't spike higher, he said.

But Traynor doesn't think the Fed is going to "increase rates too much this year or even into next year." The Fed not dramatically hiking rates would mean "a stable 10-year Treasury" yield, which he notes is a good benchmark for REITs.

Omega Healthcare REIT, which finances health-care industry real estate, could also be a safe investment, according to Binger.


While biotech company Celgene may seem a little odd in a defensive playbook, the stock is immune to a lot of factors that are upending market stability, Binger said.

"When you think about it the things plaguing the market are oil prices and commodity prices and interest rates going up and currency, and none of those things affect Celgene right now," he told "Power Lunch."

Celgene plans to develop new drugs in addition to its already popular cancer drug Revlimid, Binger said. "It's a company that has a lot of momentum behind it."

U.S.-based companies

Stocks near session lows on China woes
Stocks near session lows on China woes

U.S.-centric businesses show promising signs for stockholders. United Healthcare and T.J. Maxx are both examples of "companies that are in control of their own destiny" that are showing good revenue and sales growth, Traynor said.

"We like United Healthcare because it's exposed to an area of the economy that's growing. Health care is growing," Traynor said.

U.S. department store chain T.J. Maxx, which is trading up 30 percent on a year-over-year basis, could be another safe bet, Traynor said.

"As employment increases as wages slowly increase, those value-based retailers should do very well," he said.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, investors should watch for a few signs to move from a defensive and cautious strategy to a more risk-oriented, growth strategy.

"As we look out into 2016, we're going to start to anniversary some of these things that are plaguing the market. So I think you want to get more growth-oriented when we're not anniversary-ing high oil prices, when the strong dollar is behind us," Binger said.

"I think as earnings growth comes back strong in 2016, that's when you start to look at getting more growth-oriented instead of defensive."

Disclaimer: Michael Binger and his family do not own the stocks he discussed personally, but the stocks and ETFs are all owned in various portfolios of the firm. John Traynor owns each of the stocks he discussed personally and for his clients.