5 Blue Chips to Hold if the Rally Fizzles

Shares of these solid companies should hold up well even if the market's gains don't.

It’s okay to feel a little queasy about the 60% rise in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index since March 9. Sure, it could be just the beginning of a long-term recovery that could bring further gains. On the other hand, it could be yet another instance of over-exuberant investors setting themselves up for a fall.

We’re not going to make that call. Instead, we recommend shoring up your portfolio with stocks that can withstand a reversal of fortune, if it comes to that. We think investors will become much more discriminating from here on out, dumping some of the sketchier companies that led the seven-month rally in favor of stodgy but dependable firms with steady profits and solid balance sheets.

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Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance