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As US-China trade war escalates, these three stocks may offer hideouts

Three hideout stocks as U.S.-China trade war escalates

Stocks are seeing a small bounce Tuesday morning, but are still down sharply in the past week as trade tensions roil markets.

The has dropped nearly 5% this month as President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on China, triggering a retaliatory increase on Monday.

While the trade threat hovers over Wall Street, Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley says one tech stock could offer shelter.

"One stock I think looks quite good is Qualcomm," Maley said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday. "If you look at the chart between the XLK, the tech ETF, along with Qualcomm, they'd been trading along and very, very tightly correlated for many years and then that broke apart several years ago because of Qualcomm's legal problems with Apple."

The years-long legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm was settled in mid-April with all litigation dismissed. Apple had been in dispute with Qualcomm over patent licenses.

Since then, he said, "the stock has bounced nicely. However, it's still way behind the XLK so even though it could bounce around a little bit and could see weakness here and there, it's still got a long way to go to make up that divergence. So that could be a good place to hide as we move through this rough patch in the market."

Michael Binger, president at Gradient Investments, says a stock must fulfill certain criteria to make for a good hideout play.

"If you want to stay invested in the market, I think several areas you want to look at are more service-based companies versus product and manufacturing companies. You also want to avoid companies that do obviously a lot of business in China and more in the U.S.," he said during the same segment.

Binger identifies two companies that fit his specifications.

"I really like Amazon here. It's pulled back to a nice level. They just had a good quarter, it's in e-commerce and it's a service company, so a great holding," Binger said. "Second one I really like is UnitedHealth. This is a U.S.-based high-quality health insurer. They just had a very, very good quarter. I think that's OK to buy here, too."

Amazon has kept pace with the S&P 500's losses this month, falling 5% in May. UnitedHealth, however, has bucked the trend to rise by 3%.

Disclosure: Gradient Investments holds positions in Amazon, UnitedHealth and the SPLV ETF.