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Where to hide in a bear market? Soda, peanut butter and tissues

By Paul R. La Monica, CNN Business

Stocks plunged again Monday, extending Friday’s losses and officially pushed the S&P 500 into bear market territory. But as any savvy investor knows, you can always find winners on Wall Street, even when things seem dire.

Traders flocked to safe haven consumer products companies Monday. Coca-Cola and peanut butter and jelly giant Smucker were among the top performers in the S&P 500, each eking out small gains in midday trading. (Coke led the Dow as well.)

Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark, McDonald’s, SPAM owner Hormel Foods and supermarket chain Kroger were all up slightly too, while shares of Pepsi, Tyson Foods, Kellogg and Hershey all dipped much less than the broader market.

During times of economic stress, companies that sell essential goods like food and beverages do better than firms offering more discretionary products and services.

Some of the worst performing stocks Monday were in the travel and leisure sectors. Casino owners Caesars, Penn National and MGM, cruise lines Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean and airlines United and American all tumbled sharply.

Not all of Monday’s winners (or losers) were tied to consumer spending and recession fears, though.

Duke Realty, a warehouse real estate owner, was flat following the news that it was getting acquired by rival Prologis for $26 billion. (Shares of Prologis sank more than 8% however.)

Several regional banks and insurers, which should get a boost to profits from higher interest rates, rose as well. Truist, Comerica and PNC were all in the green, as were Travelers, Allstate and Progressive.

But one regional bank was actually the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 Monday.

New York-based Signature Bank tumbled 13%, likely spurred by bitcoin’s decline. Signature is a leading provider of crypto-backed lending products, so its fortunes have largely followed the price of bitcoin of late. Another crypto bank, Silvergate Capital, plunged 16%.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Business/Consumer

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