The recession of the late 2000s pummeled investors with huge losses in the Dow over multiple daily trading sessions. Wall Street was wondering "how low can it go?" During the string of catastrophic losses across the major market indexes, March 9, 2009, came and went - becoming the bottom of the financial panic that swept the country. (For more, see The 2007-08 Financial Crisis In Review.)

Many investors lost it all - or got our while they could. Some investors, however, were not thwarted by the markets and continued to make investments in spite of the panic-driven selling. Warren Buffett, who is arguably one of greatest investors of all-time, once said of his investing strategy, "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." Buffett and other bold investors were certainly able to take advantage of this stance during the late 2000s when most investors were either too fearful - or too broke - to be in the market. Here are five recession stocks picks and what they are worth today.

IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors

1. American Express (NYSE:AXP)
Warren Buffett added to his American Express position in November, 2008. It hit a low of $10.26 during the week of March 2, 2009, but has since rallied to a 52-week trading range of $37.13 to $49.19, with a closing price of $43.57 on the last day of February, 2011. Interestingly, Buffett has been acquiring shares of American Express since the 1960s. At that time, the salad oil scandal threatened both the value and the reputation of American Express. The stock dropped 50% in a short period of time. Buffett, always one to buy when others are running scared, scooped up his initial shares, and has continued to add to the position over the years.

2. Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR)
Ingersoll-Rand is an international supplier to transportation, manufacturing, construction and agricultural industries. Investors Warren Buffett and George Soros each hold positions in Ingersoll-Rand, which hit a low of $11.84 the week of March 2, 2009. Today it is trading under an average daily volume 4 million, with a 52-week range of $32.42 - $49.07, closing at $45.30 on February 28, 2011.

IN PICTURES: 5 Reasons Why Companies Care About Their Stock Prices

3. USG Corporation (NYSE:USG)
USG manufactures building materials for the construction and remodeling industries. In November of 2008, Buffett made a $300 million investment in USG Corporation, maintaining his position as USG's largest shareholder with over 17 million shares. After adding to the position and publicly expressing confidence in USG Corporation, USG shares were up nearly 22%. Other big name investors, including Prem Watsa and Brian Rogers, hold sizable positions in USG, which reached its recession low of $4.29 in March 2009. It is currently trading in a 52-week range of $11.34-$25.59, closing at $17.14 at the end of February, 2011.

4. Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq:COST)
Costco operates an international chain of membership-based warehouses, selling brand name merchandise at low prices. Investors like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have notable positions in Costco, which hit a low of $38.98 during the recession and now trades in a 52-week range of $53.41-$75.48, closing at $74.79 at the end of February, 2011. (For a related reading, check out Shopping For Grocery Store Dividends.)

5. Kraft Foods, Inc (NYSE:KFT)
Kraft Foods, Inc is the nation's largest food, beverage and confectionery corporation, home to well-known brands like Kraft, Cadbury and Maxwell House. Investors including Warren Buffett, Prem Watsa, and Bill Ackman hold positions in Kraft. Kraft hit a recession low of $21.62 late February 2009, and has since steadily climbed to its 52-week trading range of $27.49-$32.67, rounding out February's trading with a close of $31.84.

The Bottom Line
The investors mentioned here are by no means typical; rather than investing in terms of 100s of shares, these heavy hitters are making bets in terms of tens of thousands or even millions of shares. Warren Buffett and others continued to buy - or go long - the stock market throughout the recession of the late 2000s. Many of the bets have paid off for Buffett and other investors who took advantage the market lows. (For more, check out Warren Buffett's Best Buys.)

At the time of writing, Jean Folger did not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    In Search of the Rate-Proof Portfolio

    After October’s better-than-expected employment report, a December Federal Reserve (Fed) liftoff is looking more likely than it was earlier this fall.
  2. Investing

    Time to Bring Active Back into a Portfolio?

    While stocks have rallied since the economic recovery in 2009, many active portfolio managers have struggled to deliver investor returns in excess.
  3. Retirement

    Two Heads Are Better Than One With Your Finances

    We discuss the advantages of seeking professional help when it comes to managing our retirement account.
  4. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of a Hedge Fund Manager

    Learn what a typical early morning to late evening workday for a hedge fund manager consists of and looks like from beginning to end.
  5. Investing Basics

    5 Tips For Diversifying Your Portfolio

    A diversified portfolio will protect you in a tough market. Get some solid tips here!
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Identifying And Managing Business Risks

    There are a lot of risks associated with running a business, but there are an equal number of ways to prepare for and manage them.
  7. Active Trading

    10 Steps To Building A Winning Trading Plan

    It's impossible to avoid disaster without trading rules - make sure you know how to devise them for yourself.
  8. Stock Analysis

    What Exactly Does Warren Buffett Own?

    Learn about large changes to Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. See why Warren Buffett has invested in a commodity company even though he does not usually do so.
  9. Investing

    4 Billionaires Who Dropped Out of Harvard

    People who became successful despite dropping out of Harvard University.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Mutual Funds for Retirement

    Discover the top Vanguard target-date retirement funds with target dates in 2020, 2030 and 2050, and learn about the characteristics of these funds.
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does mutual fund manager tenure matter?

    Mutual fund investors have numerous items to consider when selecting a fund, including investment style, sector focus, operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why do financial advisors dislike target-date funds?

    Financial advisors dislike target-date funds because these funds tend to charge high fees and have limited histories. It ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do interest rates increase during a recession?

    Interest rates rarely increase during a recession. Actually, the opposite tends to happen; as the economy contracts, interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What licenses does a hedge fund manager need to have?

    A hedge fund manager does not necessarily need any specific license to operate a fund, but depending on the type of investments ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center