The stock market is the evolution of ownership as businesses started growing and becoming more globalized. It is even believed to be the most reliable modern indicator of the wellbeing of the free market in any given country. The Global stock markets have taken a few major hits in recent history, the last one being in the 2008 financial crisis.
Today, the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on stock market values makes it look as though the world of stocks is in for yet another grave ordeal. In fact, lockdowns, layoffs, and the shutting down of major businesses has caused significant drops across most stocks. The volatility of the market has indeed been a major catalyst for the downfall of a number of global stocks, especially during a time when investors have not yet a clear understanding of the full-blown economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While even the most successful businesses are starting to run out of financial leeway, some stocks are actually experiencing incredible growth as the virus continues to spread like wildfire. Even though the market was a little late making accurate predictions as to the financial radius of destruction brought about by the Coronavirus, it was still almost impossible to avoid crashing. Whether it’s by luck or as a result of meticulous planning, there were 7 stocks that made or are in the process of making the most impressive gains during the recent pandemic.
Overview of the Impact of Coronavirus
The global stock market is seeing unprecedented drops in virtually every sector and industry. The novel pandemic has introduced dream-shattering fear into the hearts of investors across the globe. Oil prices are plummeting at a rate that matches and even overtakes oil value drops during the Gulf War back in 1991. Different countries are trying to join forces to lower oil products in an effort to end the ongoing bidding war on oil production rates between Russia and Saudi Arabia, as global stocks are locked in a tug-of-war. Once the US President tweeted about alleged collusion between the two governments, oil prices increased by nearly 25%.
The mass layoffs and soaring unemployment rates looming over the economic future of the United States is giving Wall Street a run for its money, in both the metaphorical and literal sense. The boost that came in the form of bumped up oil prices is keeping a lot of stocks afloat in the US financial market, yet even the temporary increase in stock activity won’t suffice to mitigate the devastating economic changes the whole world is currently going through. Besides, as lockdowns are starting to become the norm for almost every nation, the stock market is in for one of the hardest challenges in its history since the time of the World War.
The healthcare market is among the few that is experiencing a very sharp boost in its stocks amidst the mayhem brought about by the new Coronavirus. Since there is no vaccination or cure to the ongoing pandemic, protecting oneself is the only effective way to fight the virus. Sanitizers, tissues, soap, and many other disinfecting products are core weapons in the battle against the global pandemic. The KMB Corporation, which manufactures and markets personal care items, including tissues, toilet paper, and sanitizers, has been seeing one of the bigger boosts in its stocks since the founding of the company in 1872. Boasting a $50 billion market cap and a 2.99% dividend yield, KMB is trading with an extra 8% margin compared to last year.
The Coronavirus also converted laundry care and cleaning supplies like bleach. Since bleach is one of the strongest commercially available disinfectants out there, it has been a staple in the cleaning arsenal of many people during the pandemic. Its availability and affordability thanks to mass production has made it much easier to acquire than rubbing alcohol and sanitizers. The Clorox Company, the biggest producer of bleach and other personal care products, has seen a spectacular rise in value as panic buying of their products caused major retailers and wholesalers to completely run out of stock. The company gained over 14.79% in stock value as of late March this year, with a 2.41% dividend yield.
As the toll for infection and deaths caused by the novel Coronavirus increases at an alarming rate, people are now growing concerned about their health. Whether it’s insurance or sanitizer, healthcare services are becoming more essential than ever. While most governments provide the necessary quarantining of patients infected or suspected of infection, a lot of people may be out of the picture given that the figures are often too much to handle. As seniors and immuno-deficient individuals are those with the most to lose during this pandemic, social distancing is of the utmost importance. In light of that, telehealth service providers offer video conferencing sessions that allow doctors and medical professionals to arrange appointments, which eliminates the need to pay the clinic a visit.
Whether it’s via laptops or smartphones, patients have access to medical professionals around the clock to help them. Accordingly, Teladoc stocks are seeing massive gains and are expected to soar even higher as the World Health Organization, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention have advised populations all over the world to take advantage of telehealth consultation services.
With time being the most valuable resource in the battle of nations against the Coronavirus, many countries are trying to buy as much of it as possible by enforcing lockdowns, travel bans, and a number of other temporary restrictions. The world holds its breath as biotech companies race to develop a cure or vaccine for the rapidly spreading pandemic. As a matter of fact, the United States is pumping billions of dollars into R&D, with numerous biotech and pharmaceutical companies stepping in to provide all the help they can to combat the Coronavirus. Heavyweight companies are on the frontline of a fight that is virtually unprecedented in modern history. Gilead Sciences, a major biotechnology firm, is orchestrating promising early trials for a vaccine, which is translating into appreciable rises in their stocks’ value.
Among the most impressive gains throughout the current pandemic are those of Moderna, another biotech firm. MRNA stocks have skyrocketed once they announced that the first prototype for antivirus was sent to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Slowly but surely, biotech companies are getting closer and closer to a fully functioning vaccine to cure the devastating Coronavirus, which means that these firms stand to make the most gains in the Coronavirus season.
4. Cloud Computing
With nationwide lockdowns taking place in heavily populated countries, people are now overly reliant on digital communication services. In fact, cloud computing is the key technology that has made it possible for people to stream videos, play games, host videoconferences, e-commerce shopping, distance learning, and a plethora of other digital services. Therefore, it comes as no shock that the true potential of cloud computing is being achieved and appreciated at this very moment. Even before the Coronavirus, most major companies were transitioning from first-party data centers in favor of renting cloud storage from major platforms like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. For instance, software company Microsoft is witnessing a record-breaking surge in cloud services usage in regions of extreme lockdowns.
As such, this sudden and unprecedented skyrocketing demand for cloud computing services is pushing many tech companies to work around the clock to scale and improve their service experience. The recent announcement of Amazon Web Services of boosting research and development will certainly allow numerous research institutions to utilize cloud computing services in their initiatives to fight the Coronavirus. Alibaba Cloud, a branch of Alibaba Group Holding, is, in fact, currently hard at work on the development of brand new solutions to provide medical workers around the world with the ability to use cloud applications in their efforts against the virus.
5. Digital Communications
Companies have needed elaborate alternative solutions to conventional offices and gatherings since working from home has become a common narrative amongst all major corporations. While not all job tasks can be performed from home, the majority of software-related jobs can be accessible and operable from home offices. Different platforms even allow the coordination of meetings and for streamlining communications. It’s interesting to note that, with massive layoffs occurring around the world, the number of freelancers is increasing at a staggering rate.
While the demand for jobs hasn’t yet outmatched the supply, many digital solutions are springing up to orchestrate smooth business operations. Zoom Video Communications, for example, is seeing a very noticeable boost in their stock prices as it is becoming the go-to solution for videoconferencing for corporate workers and major national and international companies.
6. Social Media
With most people now quarantined at home, social media platforms are seeing record-breaking surges in user activity throughout the world. Social distancing is making a lot of people long for human contact, and it seems that these popular platforms are playing the role of ‘digital bridge’ by allowing people to have an easier time during the lockdown. The widespread reach of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has allowed them to become trusted distributors of news, covering and relaying recent developments to all four corners of the globe.
Facebook, in particular, has been struggling with polishing its image as a platform that is used to disseminate fake news and other damaging information. Even after taking concrete measures to fix that reputation, its credibility is still reeling; the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic is a golden opportunity for the social media mastodon to retrieve its long-lost credibility.
The stocks of several social media platforms are known to be tied to socio-political and global events. The volatility of these stocks makes them appear as an unfavorable option at times, but social media companies are learning from their mistakes as they grow more proactive than ever when it comes to offering a safer experience for their users. While social media stocks have seen a few dips during the initial dropping of stocks, their recovery is quite impressive, with a potential for colossal gains in the near future.
A majority of retail businesses are shutting down due to lockdowns, with consumers practicing social distancing by reducing their trips to retail stores who are still operating. E-commerce was already the shopping solution for millions of people around the world, even before the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Now, e-commerce is simply one of the few viable solutions to buy necessities as well as non-essentials for those who are still trying to bridge the gap between their original and post-quarantine lifestyles. Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade accessories and clothing, has already been seeing an increase in the holiday seasons before the Coronavirus outbreak. It has also managed to keep a lot of its momentum during the global pandemic, seeing as brick-and-mortar shops are becoming more obsolete with each passing day.
Likewise, it is impossible not to mention Amazon when talking about e-commerce stocks. This vast and all-inclusive international marketplace has almost tripled in value in the last 3 years, yet the ongoing pandemic has put a sharp and sudden halt on its ascent as it has with many others. The initial fluctuation in Amazon’s stock prices was mainly caused by panic buying as the world was slowly turning its head toward the Coronavirus pandemic. The sharp decline in Amazon’s stock is seen by many as a great opportunity to start investing in it. In the end, valuable e-commerce stocks perhaps stand to gain the most both during, and after the COVID-19 crisis.
All in all, the global stock market is already volatile, with very slim chances of allowing for accurate predictions regarding long-term results. The spread of the virus is certainly adding gas to fire, as investors try to find a way out of this financial setback. The recent relief packages for business relief efforts are offering sizable momentum to the flow of the stock market. However, it is still quite hard to predict the outcome of the current economic storm. The stock values of almost all companies are declining rapidly, and what investors are playing on is the return to higher values once the pandemic is over. Most people are divided between taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the decline in stock values and avoiding investments altogether due to the extremely unpredictable outcomes. In any case, it is evidently clear that most of the stocks seeing gains at the moment are those that supply much-needed relief to all the people affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, directly or indirectly.