Nervous about the market? Here’s what you might want to buy

In an uncertain market, with the looming Brexit vote, elections in the United States and central bank policy moves all up in the air, experts say buying mega-cap stocks with high dividends is the way to go.

"As I look at this market right now, it's begging you to buy dividend stocks," Eddy Elfenbein, editor of the Crossing Wall Street blog, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "You're getting really solid yields from many blue chip names like Microsoft and Ford."

Ford shares offer a dividend yield of about 4.6 percent, while Microsoft has a 2.9 percent yield.

In periods of volatility, defensive high-dividend stocks should tend to outperform. This is especially the case in the current market environment in which bond yields are dropping, making the yield offered by high-dividend stocks more significant. But more generally, potentially adverse events should create added interest in the sort of names that are less sensitive to the pace of economic growth.

"Britain leaving the EU is going to have a great impact on Johnson & Johnson's business model," Elfenbein said.

With the referendum on British membership in the European Union scheduled for June 23, Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management agrees that defensiveness is key in the current environment.

"Should [Britain] vote to leave it's a very, very binary outcome because not only is it bad for U.K,. but, it's the whole Pandora's box and opens the way for other countries in Europe to leave the European Union," Schlossberg said Wednesday on "Trading Nation.

Given this risk, Sean Lynch, co-head of global equity strategy at Wells Fargo, wrote this week that "we believe selectivity is important today. We favor U.S. large-cap equities over other equity classes in a well-diversified portfolio."


Trades to Watch

Trader Bios


Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

Read more