These Dow stocks hold up the most during rough times for the market

Key Points
  • January is off to a rocky start with escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. 
  • CNBC used Kensho, a hedge fund analytics tool, to screen which Dow stocks hold up the best when the Dow drops 5% or more in a single month.
  • Health care and consumer staples are best performing stocks during market turmoil, data shows.
  • Health care giant Merck trades positive nearly a third of the time and averages a loss of 2.4%, less the half the broader market.
Ramin Talaie | Getty Images

With stocks off to a rocky new year amid tension in the Middle East, it could be time for investors to find some safe places to hide.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 230 points on Friday following news late Thursday night that the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, sending crude prices upward on fears of further escalation in the relations between the the U.S. and Iran.

U.S. stock averages continued to fall on Monday after President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Iraq on Sunday, shortly after Baghdad called for American and foreign troops to leave the country. With stocks falling and the Cboe volatility index, a fear-gauge, spiking, investors are wondering if markets are in for a tumultuous January. With Iran vowing to retaliate, investors might want to hide out before things get ugly.