Harry Peterson
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Goldman Sachs has three rules for investing success in this volatile market

How bad was last week for the markets? The extreme volatility, which ended with the S&P and Nasdaq recording their worst weekly declines in two years, was bad enough that even Goldman Sachs Group said its investors were dazed and confused in a note Monday. One investor even said it felt like he had whiplash.

Here are four factors driving the market’s moves right now.

  1. Global growth clouds: The U.S. is expanding above trend, but China is slowing, and Europe is barely growing.
  2. Dollar strength: The euro is expected to achieve parity by 2017.
  3. The bear market for crude: The price of crude has fallen more than 20% since June.
  4. Small caps notch dismal returns: The Russell 2000 RUT is down 13% off its peak and is underperforming the S&P 500 SPX .

Funds are also lagging the market, with 85% of large-cap mutual funds reporting that they’re below their benchmarks year-to-date, and your average hedge fund was up about 1% versus 5% for the S&P 500.

But Goldman GS has a plan for how to invest in this uncertain market.

Focus on ‘American economic exceptionalism.‘ In layman’s terms, this means forecasts for stronger U.S. growth (Goldman economists expect 3.2% in 2015, which would be the fastest rate of expansion since 2005) will benefit companies with greater domestic sales than foreign sales.

Invest in sectors that benefit from lower oil prices: Without a rebound in oil prices, energy equities will continue to lag. But lower oil will aid companies that provide consumer staples and discretionary products as input costs fall and personal consumption begins to rise. Chemical companies and airlines also will see reduced costs. Overweight industrials and consumer discretionary, advises Goldman.

Stick with U.S. large caps: A rising dollar and positive U.S. growth typically correspond with the Russell 2000′s outperformance, but negative earnings have driven small-caps lower. This may be due to the fact that investors are biased toward the relative safety of large-caps. This is depicted in the chart below, which shows how small-caps have underperformed as the yield curve has flattened. Some view a flattening yield curve as a leading indicator of recession.

Here are 10 stocks that meet these criteria, according to Goldman.

  1. Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT (consumer discretionary)
  2. General Motors GM (consumer discretionary)
  3. Tyson Foods TSN (consumer staples)
  4. CVS Health CVS (consumer staples)
  5. Pioneer Natural Resources PXD (energy)
  6. J.P. Morgan Chase JPM (financials)
  7. Bank of America BAC (financials)
  8. Tenet Healthcare THC (healthcare)
  9. Delta Air Lines DAL (industrials)
  10. Salesforce.com CRM (information technology)