Forbes published a list of "best recession stocks" today, which were each required to have a positive price change over the two most recent economic downturns (Jan. 1, 2008, to Nov. 28, 2008, and March 1 through Nov. 1 of 2001).
Not surprisingly, the list includes consumer products companies and discount stores:
Church & Dwight Co., a maker of cleaning products and personal care items (it owns the Arm & Hammer brand.) Earnings per share are up 11 percent and sales are up 8 percent over the past year, and analysts expect another 14 percent growth in earnings per share in 2009.
General Mills and Ralcorp Holdings, which both process breakfast cereal and other food items.
Family Dollar Stores, Ross Stores, and Wal-Mart Stores should benefit from more consumers on a bargain hunt.
Buying in bulk will be in vogue, Forbes says, which should benefit BJ's Wholesale Club.
Here's a somewhat bold bet: Paramus, N.J.-based Hudson City Bancorp, which Forbes thinks is the best-managed company in the banking industry.