Four tariff-proof stocks to weather rising China-U.S. tensions

As the U.S.-China trade war intensifies, investors are scrambling to find stocks that offer shelter from the storm.

These traders have four stock picks that could provide insulation from those trade concerns.

A bite to eat

Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said domestically focused companies with a consumer lean should do well. He said one stock fits that bill: Darden Restaurants.

“Darden owns restaurants like Olive Garden, Longhorn and Capital Grille, and since wage growth has been accelerating, the consumer has more money so they are more likely to go out for dinner,” Tepper said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

As the rest of the market has plummeted this month, Darden has surged 6 percent. It’s on track for an 18 percent increase for the year.

Trash pickup

Tepper also sees value in Waste Management, a company that derives the bulk of its revenue from the U.S.

“They’re in a consolidating industry which really gives them a huge advantage because their national presence and huge landfill base really allows them to operate more efficiently than the other players,” Tepper said.

He also points to its low volatility and dividend growth as two positives for the stock.

A real (estate) opportunity

Instinet’s chief market technician, Frank Cappelleri, likes American Tower, a wireless infrastructure company housed within the real estate sector, as his tariff-proof pick.

“The stock has quietly been making new highs over the last few weeks and I think that’s significant because if you look back, it really has been moving sideways for the better part of last year after failing at that $150 mark back in November,” Cappelleri said Tuesday on “Trading Nation.” “Along the way it continues to make new highs over the last three years or so.”

American Tower has also well outperformed the XLRE real estateETF. Over the past three months, its stock has risen 8 percent while the XLRE ETF has fallen 2 percent.

A healthy bet

Cappelleri also likes health-care leader UnitedHealth for its protection from trade.

“It’s been making new highs or close to making new highs right in this uptrend for the last three years which is something really not many S&P 500 stocks can claim right now,” he said.

Each time UnitedHealth’s stock has pulled back within its uptrend over the past three years, it has proven to be a buying opportunity, said Cappelleri.

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