Recession-Proof Stocks

These five companies actually are thriving in this bleak economy.

For some companies, misfortune can mean opportunity. This is especially true for "countercyclicals" -- companies that benefit from economic weakness.

Wal-Mart Stores (symbol WMT) is somewhat countercyclical. It has been benefiting as hard-pressed consumers trade down to lower-priced goods during the recession. So are dollar stores, although the stocks of two of them, Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) and Family Dollar Stores (FDO), came under pressure in early February on concerns that this recession is so severe that even bargain-basement retailers would suffer.

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