Get used to the pattern of a collapse in stock prices near the bell, something that happens when you are shadow boxing with unknown enemies like a collapse in Russia or a default in Brazil.
Understand that the world isn't set up as poorly, as it once was, and we shouldn't expect lasting blows coming from oil's decline, as it is a modest positive for the world and a huge one for countries like ours where the price falls right to the bottom line.
So the question becomes, what works when we have sharp falls based on future sales anticipating events we don't know about?
I think the best thing to do is to go over what worked in the last tsunami of selling. Six quick ones tell the tale.
The first is CVS (CVS). Here's a company that's on an unbelievable roll, just extraordinary, not even blinking when it put itself at a huge competitive disadvantage vs. Walgreen (WAG) and Rite Aid (RAD) when it pulled out of selling cigarettes.
CVS Health, as it is now deservedly called, is an expensive stock, as it has now put up a $5.05 to $5.19 earnings-per-share target for 2015. But it's a premium multiple situation owing to its consistence and to the revamping that, oddly, is so perfect for a time when oil has really come down in price. You simply spend your spare change there on the way to the back of the store's pharmacy. A very winning prescription.
Next up is Clorox (CLX). I know this $12 billion company isn't shooting the lights out, but when you can get it on a sell program, down more than a point, say, it has proven to be an excellent reach-for. It doesn't have the growth, it doesn't even have a big buyback. It has consistency and people crave consistency. Only buy it down a buck, though, if you want to make the most money.
Hain Celestial (HAIN) isn't an easy story to digest because its stock trades so erratically, but here's the deal: the theme is a great one and the company continues to grow into its status as the next General Mills (GIS) or Nestle or Kraft (KRFT). Irwin Simon's got a terrific thing going and every time the sellers come in and bombard it, it's been a terrific time to buy. Right now the stock is down more than six points from its high, something that hasn't happened in some time. I attribute it to the huge move it had after the last quarter. The secular theme is intact and so shall be the stock.
Fourth is Monster Beverage (MSNT). Here's one that, with Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), that people claim that I hurt them on. I always love it when I am lambasted for winners. Heaven knows I have had losers -- just admitting to that brings out the catcallers, but I don't care -- but Monster isn't one of them. This stock isn't nearly as expensive as it once was and that's not because of multiple contraction, it's because the earnings estimates are rapidly rising. CLSA's Caroline Levy, my favorite beverage analyst, is using a $3.51 to $3.66 number for 2016. Reasonable, especially if you are like me and you don't think the company will be independent. Yep, I expect Coca-Cola (KO) to buy them.
Finally there's Kimberly-Clark (KMB), an annoying stock because it is so rarely down and yet doesn't come in, almost always stopping, like Clorox, at a 3% yield. This one is eerie as it adheres to a bottom pretty much in every severe selloff. Again, like Clorox, it is not a fast grower. But it is a magnet for capital and almost always affords you a nice couple-of-points bump if you catch it when the decline gets steep.
I find these stocks to be annoying, but if you can't beat them, during any selloff related to the decline in oil or the stress overseas, just buy them.