As volatility spikes, these stocks offer a smooth ride and potential upside

People talk outside a Wal-Mart Pickup-Grocery store in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Rick Wilking | Reuters

Tuesday's broad sell-off on Wall Street saw volatility make its return to the stock market, but there are ways for investors to defend their portfolios against those swings.

The Cboe Volatility Index, which has spent most of the past six weeks below 20, was trading near 22 on Tuesday and hit its highest level since March 10. The index, which measures the market volatility implied through options prices, is still well below its peak during last year's dramatic market decline, but its sharp rise does signal increased uncertainty about stocks.

CNBC Pro searched for stocks with low volatility characteristics, as well as potential upside according to Wall Street analysts.

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