These U.S. large-cap stocks that should offer great valuations and low volatility. Since bottoming in late December, the U.S. markets have risen sharply, led by strong economic data, optimism for a Chinese trade deal and solid, if not stellar fourth-quarter earnings. In 2019, the S&P 500 has risen about 6 percent with some sectors like technology and financials up more than 10 percent. One sector which has lagged the overall market is health care – only up 4 percent in the past month and down 12 percent in the past year.
1. Merck & Co. (ticker: MRK).
“The list of companies matching the above screen contains an outsized number of pharmaceutical companies – due mainly to their low valuation levels. One of the largest of these is Merck & Co., with a forward P/E ratio of 17.1 and a five-year EPS growth rate of 8.2 percent.