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Sleep easy this earnings season with these dependable and stable stocks

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There may be some stocks that could let investors rest easy this earnings season, as companies deal with the hottest inflation print in decades and the likelihood of sharp interest rate hikes. CNBC Pro screened for stocks that met the following criteria: Earnings per share have beaten estimates by at least 1% in the last three quarters Lowest stock price volatility in the S & P 500 Positive total return for 2022 (as of July 8) The search yielded a slew of consumer non-cyclicals, utilities and health-care names that could offer portfolios some stability at a time of heightened market volatility. Investors are monitoring corporate reports for downside risk to earnings forecasts, which could indicate how companies will weather challenges in the latter half of the year. On Thursday, stocks dropped as traders weighed a disappointing start to big bank earnings from JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Here is our list: Some consumer non-cyclical names that made the list include Kellogg , General Mills and Hershey . All three stalwarts demonstrated low price volatility over the last three years, even while posting double-digit total returns, which include dividends. Respectively, the stocks have returned 12%, 11% and 12% this year. Notably, General Mills has repeatedly breached an all-time high this year . In its most-recent earnings report, the food company pleased investors after showing it can pass on rising costs to consumers, as rising inflation spurs more consumers to dine at home. Health-care stock Becton, Dickinson and Company made the list. The company is considered a buying opportunity by Wells Fargo, which last month upgraded the stock to an overweight rating. The firm said Becton, Dickinson and Company can handle macro challenges better than its peers. “Given BDX’s pricing power and the less elective nature of its products, we see BDX as an excellent defensive name given the risk of a recession,” analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote. Other names that came up include Coca-Cola, telecommunications stock AT & T , health-care name Bristol-Myers Squibb and finance stock Jack Henry & Associates . Two utilities names that surfaced include CMS Energy and DTE Energy .

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