In an environment in which many investors appear increasingly anxious about the market's next move, a few stocks stand out as potential picks for those unenthusiastic about American equities as a group right now.
These would be the so-called low beta stocks.
Beta is frequently thought of as the measure of a stock's volatility, but that is only half of the equation. In fact, beta is the output of a simple mathematical equation that takes the product of a given stock's standard deviation and its correlation with the overall market, and divides that by the market's standard deviation.
These calculations make a stock's "beta" the easy answer to the question: How much should I expect this stock to rise (fall) for every percentage point the overall market rises (falls)?
When it comes to the seven stocks below, the answer is: Not much.
All of them have betas below 0.24, and gold giant Newmont Mining has a beta of less than 0.07, based on FactSet's analysis of the past five years of data. That means that if the S&P 500 plunges 10 percent, that broad-market drop should only contribute to a 0.7 percent slide for Newmont.