I’m looking for the best FTSE 100 shares to buy right now before the next stock market recovery. But why would I want to buy any stocks when the outlook seems so dire? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) just slashed its forecasts for global growth and warned of a worldwide recession.
But one thing to note is that the stock market tries to anticipate what the economy might look like in six-to-nine months.
So despite the doom and gloom we might expect right now, there could be ‘no-brainer’ opportunities lurking in this large-cap index with lots of post-recovery potential.
A FTSE 100 top pick
I’d start with catering giant Compass Group (LSE:CPG). It’s a global leader in providing food services to thousands of organisations spanning 44 countries. As an example, it supplies many workplace canteens.
But with energy and food prices soaring, why would I even think about buying shares in a catering company? Well, something interesting is happening in this space.
Faced with rising costs and staffing challenges, many companies and organisations are moving to outsource catering operations to larger, more efficient specialists like Compass.
It looks like a blessing for the British caterer. A string of new business wins has already helped Compass to raise its revenue growth forecast for the second time this year. And it expects this trend to continue.
Bear in mind that attracting the right staff remains a challenge. And as a mainly physical business, the pandemic caused significant disruption. Any further Covid outbreaks could be a cause for concern for the company and its shares.
Overall though, I like what I see and would buy these shares today. It’s a quality business with a double-digit return on capital employed. And with earnings growth, dividends and a £500m share buyback programme, I reckon I’ll be sufficiently rewarded as a shareholder.
Banking on it
The next stock I’d buy is Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY). Banking shares wouldn’t normally be my go-to option when facing an economic slowdown.
But this is no ordinary recession. Against a backdrop of soaring inflation, the Bank of England has embarked on a series of interest rate hikes.
Lloyds is benefiting from these higher interest rates. It expects its net interest margin to be greater than 2.8%. That’s up from 2.5% a year earlier.
Net interest margin is a key measure for banks, and it’s essentially the difference between the interest it earns on loans and the interest it pays on customer deposits.
For the six months to 30 June, net income gained 11% to £8.5bn. And strong performance in the first half of the year resulted in Lloyds enhancing its guidance for 2022.
6% dividend yield
A word of warning, however. Any signs of a deeper recession would be a cause for concern, in my opinion. It could result in a drop in economic and borrowing activity. A fall in overall lending might offset any benefits of higher interest rates for this domestic bank.
That said, I reckon interest rates will be raised further this year and Lloyds should benefit. And in addition to its juicy 6% dividend yield, I think I’ll be rewarded with a much higher share price in the coming years.