With fears about a new Covid variant looming large over investors, certain stocks have a track record of performing well when concerns about the pandemic have flared up. Stocks are under pressure Friday as a new heavily-mutated variant known as B.1.1.529 found in South Africa raises alarm about a slowdown in the economic recovery. Little is known about the variant, but scientists have detected a large number of mutations in the variant, which could have implications for vaccine efficacy and transmissibility. Travel, energy and oil stocks were hit hard before the market opened Friday. CNBC Pro identified the stocks that have performed well in the months when Covid fears have been heightened. To identify those months, we looked at when travel stocks retreated using Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment fund as a proxy. There were six months during this pandemic when travel stocks retreated, beginning with March 2020. CNBC Pro screened the best performers, on average, during those months. To fine-tune the list, we also made sure none of these stocks shed more than 5% during any of those single bad months. Plus, a majority of analysts have a buy rating on the stocks today. Take a look at the list. (Source: FactSet. As of Nov. 26, 2021.) The stocks on CNBC Pro's screen mostly consist of defensive names. Defensive stocks are shares that tend to be stable regardless of how the overall market performs. Market strategists typically categorize the utilities, health care and consumer staples sectors as defensive. Names on the list include Consolidated Edison , Abbott Laboratories and Dollar General .
A Dollar General store in Creve Coeur, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
With fears about a new Covid variant looming large over investors, certain stocks have a track record of performing well when concerns about the pandemic have flared up.