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Long-Time Brands Boost Stocks

Photograph by Danny Chapman
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That sleek and sexy Tesla Model 3 was a bust in the first quarter. The stars of this earnings season have been much more mundane—think Colgate toothpaste, Huggies diapers, Barbie dolls, Play-Doh, and Kit Kats. Consumer staples have performed well during the latest earnings season, often beating expectations for earnings and revenue, and even showing some ability to raise prices. The market has rewarded them.

Staples and little consumer luxuries like candy and toys have proved popular. Kimberly-Clark (KMB) grew core sales of...