Find stability in this turbulent market – and a cash payout – with these stocks

Markets have logged wild swings in recent weeks and the new month kicked off Wednesday in similar fashion. But even in an unpredictable market, several companies are well-positioned to offer a good dividend payout and low volatility. Stocks are grappling with a murky start to the year as the Federal Reserve hikes rates and shrinks its balance sheet to fight record inflation, and investors eye a potential slowdown in economic growth. The Nasdaq Composite has fallen 23.1% this year, marking a deep slide into a bear market, while the S & P 500 is down about 14%. Nevertheless, there are stocks that can offer a smooth ride and a stable cash payout through dividends — often regarded as a way for investors to find stable returns even during a downturn. To discover the stocks that may be best positioned to weather the storm, CNBC Pro used FactSet data to screen first for names that have already risen this year. We then searched for stocks with low volatility (beta less than 1), offer a dividend yield above 2% and the wider S & P 500, and boast lots of cash. CNBC picked stocks with high free cash flow yields (greater than 10%), the cash a company has relative to its market value. The screen gathered lots of names in telecom, healthcare, and consumer noncyclical sectors generally regarded as defensive areas or safe havens in a downturn. Here are some of the companies that made the list: Everest Re Group boasted the highest free cash flow yield on the list (38%) and a dividend yield of 2.3%. Shares of the insurance company are trading 1.7% higher this year and a recent screen from CNBC Pro found that the stock is among the winning names as rates rise. HP Inc. is another company offering a strong cash payout, with a dividend yield of 2.2% and FCF yield of 15.7%. In April, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway revealed a large stake in the technology hardware company, which analysts have regarded as a value bet given its strong dividend payout and aggressive buyback program. HP’s shares are trading up 7.1% this year. Telecom giant AT & T marked the highest dividend payer on the list, with a yield of 8.7%. The company is notoriously known for paying fat dividends but recently cut its payout by nearly half to invest more cash in its business. Shares of AT & T are trading up 14.2% on the year, with a free cash flow yield of 14.4%. Other stocks that made the list include Kraft Heinz , Kinder Morgan , M & T Bank and Bristol-Myers Squibb .

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