4 blue chip stocks to buy in March

These are tough times for investors. Stock markets in the United States and abroad remain extremely volatile and have been flowing since last November. The turmoil is caused by a toxic mix of persistent inflation that is at its highest level in 40 years, impending interest rate hikes aimed at lowering consumer prices, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, oil prices that are at their highest level in 14 years, global supply chain constraints, and an ongoing shortage of the semiconductor chips used to power everything from smartphones to cars.

All major stock indices in the United States are in correction territory, defined as a decline of 10% or more, with the Nasdaq close to a 20% pullback, which is the technical indicator used to define a bear market.

So what should an investor do in such difficult circumstances? How to better face the storm? Buying reliable, blue-chip stocks that perform well in tough times and consistently deliver strong returns is a good start.

Here are four blue-chip stocks to buy in March.

  • Coca Cola (NYSE:KO)
  • American Express (NYSE:AXP)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Pfizer (NYSE:DFP)

Blue chip stocks to buy: Coca-Cola (KO)

Source: Mehaniq / Shutterstock.com

The stocks don’t get any more blue chip than Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. The sugary soda has been a staple in good times and bad for 130 years now. And the stock has earned a reputation for weathering economic storms and market volatility.

Even this year, KO stock is down less than 2% from an 11% correction in the benchmark S&P500 index. Over the past 12 months, Coca-Cola stock has gained 17% to now trade at $58.86 a share. Investors looking to add some stability to their portfolio should consider buying Coke shares. They have the added benefit of paying a good dividend yield of 3.04%which equates to a quarterly payout of $0.44 per share.

And now is a good time to buy knockout stocks like Coca-Cola sales are accelerating out of the pandemic. Despite the impact of Covid-19, Coca-Cola still claims to control 14% of the global commercial beverage sales market in developed countries and 6% in emerging countries.

With sales resuming at movie theaters, sporting events, live concerts and restaurants and bars that have now reopened, Coca-Cola management expects revenue to grow between 4% and 6% this year. The company also recently announced that it will start buying back its shares this year after suspending share buybacks during the pandemic. So many good reasons to add this name to a portfolio.

American Express (AXP)

an American Express (AXP) credit card sticking out of someone's pocket

Source: Shutterstock

Credit card giant American Express is another stock that always seems to weather a stormy market unscathed. Year-to-date, the New York-based company’s stock is down 3% to just under $173 per share, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell into bearish territory at several times in recent months.

Over the past year, AXP stock has risen 15%, bringing its five-year gain to 114%. And while the company is known to be a favorite corporate credit card and widely used for business travel, American Express has taken steps in recent years to diversify and diversify its business.

In addition to its core payment products, American Express today also offers commercial business services, expense management tools, consulting services and business loans to customers in 130 countries around the world.

And its consumer credit cards are gaining ground on its business cards, helping to make up for lost ground in the business travel segment due to the pandemic, which the company has acknowledged is unlikely is coming back with the rise of video conferencing and virtual networks. meetings. In addition, American Express continues to operate a highly profitable network merchant payment network that touches every corner of the globe.

Blue chip stocks to buy: Microsoft (MSFT)

The Microsoft logo outside a building representing MSFT stock.

Source: Asif Islam / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft continues to be a leading software developer. However, the key to the company’s success in recent years has been its constant evolution and diversification.

Example: he recently announced Acquisition of $68.7 billion video game creator ActivisionBlizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI). The deal brings in-house video game development for Microsoft, which makes the popular Xbox video game console, and provides the company with another revenue stream.

In addition to video games, Microsoft also has scope in areas such as virtual reality and cloud computing, which is the company’s fastest growing and most profitable business segment today.

The steady growth and expansion has been good news for MSFT stocks. Shares of the Windows developer are down 17% year-to-date on widespread weakness in tech stocks. However, the stock is up 20% in the past 12 months, to around $280 per share. Over the past five years, the stock price has gained 331%.

The company also pays an annual dividend yield of 0.89%, good for a quarterly payout of $0.62 per share. A large number of Microsoft productsfrom its legacy Windows computer operating system to its new Teams virtual meeting program, has proven indispensable for businesses and individuals alike during the pandemic.

Pfizer (PFE)

Pfizer (PFE) logo on the Pfizer building.  Pfizer is an American pharmaceutical company.

Source: Manuel Esteban / Shutterstock.com

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is not limited to its Covid-19 vaccine. The company produces many vaccines and drugs to treat conditions ranging from cancer and heart disease to neurological disorders.

Pfizer’s blockbuster drugs include Eliquis to treat blood clots, Prevnar to treat pneumonia and Ibrance, which is used in people with breast cancer. Pfizer also maintains a strong pipeline of potential new drugs and does business globally.

The company planned that it earn $32 billion this year thanks to sales of its Covid-19 vaccine and the approved oral Covid-19 drug called Paxlovid.

Year-to-date, PFE shares have fallen 12% amid general market weakness. However, the stock price has risen 49% in the past 12 months to now trade at $52. Given its size and market-leading position in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, Pfizer is an excellent blue-chip stock to have in a portfolio.

And although sales of its Covid-19 treatments are expected to slow somewhat, Pfizer remains the leading supplier of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States and Europe. In America, 58% of all Covid-19 hits administered were from Pfizer. In Europe, 71% of all Covid-19 vaccines came from Pfizer. With Covid-19 expected to become rampant, sales could remain strong for many years to come.

As of the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in MSFT. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com publishing guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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