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Pro Analysis

Goldman says watch out for these stocks if volatility spikes

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Goldman Sachs released a list of stocks to stay away from if market volatility continues to climb in a report by the head of global securities research Robert Boroujerdi.

"The confluence of low volatility, a fluid reflation narrative and signs of complacency in rates & credit markets have created positioning and correlation extremes for equity managers," wrote Boroujerdi in the Wednesday report.

The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX), known as the best gauge of fear in the market, has recently been trading at historic lows, reaching 9.3 in July, its lowest level since December 1993.

While many believe volatility will remain depressed for the foreseeable future, the VIX spiked on Thursday to a high of 14.93 as the heated rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea continues to spook some investors.

"For those looking to take a negative view on Low Vol, we highlight Sell- and Neutral-rated companies that screen as poor 'Quality' on our Integrated factor relative to both their sector as well as broader coverage and where volatility is 15 percent or more below its 5-year average," wrote Boroujerdi.

Goldman also included stocks that may be safer bets in times of turbulence, naming firms with strong balance sheets, and also screen well on their "Quality" factors.

Here are a few of their recommendations.