8 Top Defensive Stocks To Invest In for 2022

Kanata, Ottawa, Canada - August 8, 2020: Lockheed Martin Canada Mission Systems and Training in Ottawa on August 8, 2020, an American aerospace, defense, arms, security, advanced technologies company.
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Recent volatility has many investors concerned about the current state of their investments. As interest rates start to rise, investors are beginning to shift toward more defensive stocks.

Defensive stocks are stocks that are considered safer. They might not offer the same opportunity for massive gains that more aggressive stocks do, but they come from sectors like consumer staples and healthcare that are expected to perform in essentially any economic conditions. 

These are some of the best defensive stocks on the market today for investors looking to safeguard their portfolios from any upcoming turbulence. All of these options have a solid foundation for lasting value while still showing that they can grow and build something for the future.

1. Lockheed Martin

  • 52-week price range: $324.23 – $479.99
  • Price as of May 10: $439.13
  • Market cap: $116.856 billion

Lockheed Martin is quite literally a defense stock, having signed contracts with the U.S. government and others around the world in space, aeronautics, rotary and mission systems, and missiles and fire control.

National defense is a dependable sector that isn’t expected to see any issues anytime soon, and Lockheed Martin is at the head of the pack. With the U.S. currently seeking an increase in the defense budget, investors have little reason to doubt this or other defense stocks.

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2. Costco

  • 52-week price range: $371.11 – $612.27
  • Price as of May 10: $501.46
  • Market cap: $222.259 billion

Costco is a major retail chain that’s beloved by anyone who buys in bulk. Selling everything from groceries to vacation packages, people will likely keep shopping there regardless of changes in the market.

Costco releases monthly sales numbers, and the most recent results from April show a major increase year over year. Net sales were $17.33 billion, an increase of 13.9% over April 2021. This growth is another great sign for what is already a solid defensive stock.

3. Walmart

  • 52-week price range: $132.01 – $160.77
  • Price as of May 10: $149.18
  • Market cap: $410.66 billion

Large retail chains, in general, are typically good defensive stock picks, with Walmart being a prime example. This is a truly massive company and is, in fact, the world’s largest private employer with over 2.3 million employees, according to Fortune.

Both in the U.S. and around the world, people rely on Walmart every day for groceries and just about anything they could need. Even with stiff competition from online retailers, Walmart is a solid choice for a stable and reliable defensive stock.

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4. FedEx

  • 52-week price range: $192.82 – $319.90
  • Price as of May 10: $208.06
  • Market cap: $53.925 billion

FedEx is synonymous with delivery in the U.S., although it also offers a wide range of business and e-commerce services. It maintains an extensive supply chain that positions the company to thrive in any kind of economic condition.

One reason to invest in FedEx now is the recent announcement of a major deal with Microsoft. The continued collaboration between the two companies will include a variety of innovative new applications of network intelligence and logistics as a service. As a company with a solid base that continues to innovate, FedEx is a great pick.

5. McKesson

  • 52-week price range: $184.43 – $335.60
  • Price as of May 10: $329.83
  • Market cap: $49.408 billion

Healthcare is something people need regardless of how well the stock market is doing. This makes the sector a staple of defensive stocks, and McKesson is a great example. The company provides a range of services in healthcare supply chain management, specialty care, retail pharmacy and more.

With the current price near the top of the 52-week price range, McKesson is currently doing better than many of the other defensive stocks on this list.

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6. Procter & Gamble

  • 52-week price range: $131.94 – $165.35
  • Price as of May 10: $154.79
  • Market cap: $373.355 billion

Procter & Gamble offers a broad range of products, with a wide range of brands under the company, including Gillette, Olay, Oral-B, Tide, Dawn, Bounty, Febreze, Pampers, Pantene and many more. These are all consumer essentials that are resilient to economic changes, making Procter & Gamble a good choice for a defensive stock.

The most recent report from the company shows significant growth that was higher than expectations. Net sales for the fiscal third quarter of 2022 were $19.4 billion, with the company increasing its forecast for all-in sales growth to between 4% and 5% for fiscal year 2022, according to a press release. With a solid foundation and ongoing development, Procter & Gamble is well worth taking a look at.

7. CVS Health

  • 52-week price range: $79.33 – $111.25
  • Price as of May 10: $98.16
  • Market cap: $129.636 billion

CVS is a widespread pharmacy chain with over 9,900 locations in 49 states across the country; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. Despite competition from pharmacies in larger retail chains like Walmart, CVS has continued to grow and thrive, with the company’s resilience making it a fantastic defensive stock.

Along with its incredibly solid base as a pharmacy and retail store, CVS completed its ambitious acquisition of Aetna, an American health insurance company, in 2018. Quarterly profits have grown to $2.3 billion, according to a press release from CVS on its first quarter results, and the synergy between CVS and Aetna has played a big part in that.

8. General Motors

  • 52-week price range: $37.25 – $67.21
  • Price as of May 10: $38.70
  • Market cap: $56.434 billion

Despite the catastrophic hit to its reputation that GM took with the 2008 U.S. auto industry bailout, the company has since gone on to great success. Today, the company is considered a very stable pick with a hopeful future in electric vehicle development. 

GM encompasses the brands Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac, among others. The company is committed to developing 30 new electric vehicles across these lines by 2025. Despite past trouble, GM has a solid foundation today and has shown that it is thinking about the future as well — a great combination for any defensive stock.

Final Take

These eight defensive stock choices each have something unique to offer that could be the right choice for a more conservative portfolio. With interest rates and other concerns causing investors to become more cautious, these stocks represent the potential for further growth in troubled times.

Data is accurate as of May 10, 2022, and is subject to change.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Teddy Garcia is an experienced freelance writer who develops a wide range of content across many industries. He has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and has created blog posts, website copy, use cases, and more for a variety of chemical industry and manufacturing organizations. 

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