Investing

When the Biggest Coronavirus Losers Become the Vaccine-Hopeful Winners

With the economy now deep in a recession on the heels of the COVID-19 shutdowns, many of the great growth stories that helped to define what America likes to do have found their business models reaching unavoidable collapse. If the retail spending climate simply cannot get to a company because of closures, in some ways it might be far worse than just trying to measure the impact of what a 20% or 25% unemployment situation does to a business model.

With Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell commenting over the weekend that the central bank will do whatever it takes to get the economy going again, along with a report of very positive vaccine news from Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) on its COVID-19 vaccine study, it’s no wonder that the stock market exploded higher on Monday, May 18, 2020.

While a rising tide is expected to lift all boats, the main gains in the stock market from the large caps are effectively the companies that have been gutted the most. Consumer spending on nonessential items has been affected due to the consumers being shut in or unemployed, but many other services, such as tourism, entertainment and other disposable income spending items, have seen their shares surge.

24/7 Wall St. wanted to feature the main market movers on Monday’s news. There may be no assurances that positive vaccine results from Moderna will create a cure. Powell might not be able to stave off all assets price erosion. In short, there is no assurance that the good news on Monday will not be met by bad news later on this week or in the weeks ahead.

Moderna’s own pop was 24.9% at $83.25 in mid-afternoon trading. That is an all-time high for Moderna, after hitting $87.00 earlier in Monday’s trading session. Moderna now has a $31 billion market cap, and revenues are still more or less tied to development stage treatments rather than full-blown product sales.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was leading the Dow Jones industrials higher on hopes that fewer coronavirus cases means a return to flights and to airlines buying planes again. Boeing was up 11.6% at $133.90 a share in mid-afternoon trading on Monday.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is still considered healthier than some other airlines, and it was up 20% at $23.95 on Monday afternoon.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) was last seen trading up 19% at $44.65 on Monday, still down from a high of $135.32, on hopes that the cruising culture can be saved if a coronavirus vaccine is real.

TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) was last seen up 19.8% at $18.78 on hopes that travel search in general would rise again if a vaccine for COVID-19 is here. That is still down from a high of $48.47.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) lost on every aspect of its business in the coronavirus except for Disney+. If COVID-19 actually will get a vaccine, then venues like sports, theme parks, cruises and travel, and even movies, are all viable again. Disney shares were up 6.5% at $116.15 in Monday’s afternoon trading session.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) leads in the theme parks for roller-coasters and other rides. Even as shares were up 15% at $22.00 on Monday afternoon, that is down from a 52-week high of $59.52.

Cinemark Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CNK) traded up 13% at $13.45 in the afternoon on the hopes that the U.S. consumer will start going back to movie theaters. This is still down from a $41.60 high in the past 52 weeks.

Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR) wins with a stronger consumer as well, but people will start staying at hotels again, if they are not worried about hotels being breeding grounds. Marriott has a $30 billion market cap, and a 16% gain to $92.75 is still down from a 52-week high of $153.39.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was up 8.6% at $75.57, based on the hope of a return to restaurants like Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Yard House, Capital Grille and Eddie V’s. Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) was also up 14% at $22.50 on Monday on hopes that Chili’s and Maggiano’s can bring customers back.

Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) was surging almost 12% to $57.35 on Monday, with the hope that malls of all sizes in America will start attracting customers again if the consumers don’t have to worry about getting sick.

Many other companies in many tangent sectors are moving, and these were based generally on size and economic demonstration or representation rather than on merely the largest percentage movers.

In great economic rallies that could resemble a future return to growth, it’s generally speaking a very boring day for the safe defensive stocks that offered economic insulation or that were deemed to be the “new slow economy” winners because they won from the coronavirus.