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Only These 16 S&P Stocks Have Avoided The Coronavirus Market Crash

Topline: The coronavirus is taking an increasingly severe toll on markets (the S&P 500 has plunged 28.9% over the last month) and it’s put the U.S. economy on an inevitable path towards a recession, but there are a few bright spots amid the carnage. 

Crucial statistic: As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the stock market just 16 stocks in the S&P 500, roughly 3% of the entire index, have seen positive returns over the last month. The remaining 484 companies are all in the red, according to Bloomberg data from February 18 to March 18.

Here are the companies that have seen their shares rise while the majority of the market is still looking for a bottom:

  •  Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is the top-performing stock over the last four weeks rising 22%. The American biotech company has been at the forefront of efforts to develop a treatment for the coronavirus, recently making a breakthrough in its research.
  • Cabot Oil & Gas is next on the list. It’s one of the few energy companies avoiding the sector-wide carnage caused by the coronavirus and the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia thanks to being a natural gas-heavy company. Combined with low operating costs, that has seen its stock rise 21%. 
  • Other health-related stocks that are performing well in the ‘coronavirus economy’ include Gilead Sciences, another biotech company involved in developing a treatment for COVID-19, and Clorox, maker of disinfectant wipes, which have unsurprisingly been in high demand. Shares are up 19.7% and 15.9%, respectively. 
  • Several food-related stocks have also outperformed as Americans stay at home and stock up. Kroger—one of the largest supermarket chains in the U.S.—is up 14.1%, top U.S. peanut butter and jam manufacturer The J.M. Smucker Company has risen 8.7%, General Mills has gained 7.9% and Campbell Soup is up 4.7%. 
  • Other stocks in the top ten over the last month include cloud computing and software company Citrix Systems, up 5.9%, and Digital Realty Trust, up 4%.
  • Rounding out the list: Kellogg at 3.6%, Walmart at 2.5%, Walgreens Boots Alliance at 1.8%, WEC Energy Group at 1.6%, Eli Lilly & Co at 1.5% and Hormel Foods at 0.02%.

Here are the stocks that have fallen the most since the coronavirus outbreak rose in severity and caused markets to crater:

  • The worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 over the last month is Norwegian Cruise Line, down 85% since late February. Cruise stocks have crashed as the coronavirus pandemic decimates global tourism and people stay indoors.
  • Other cruise stocks feeling the crunch include Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corp, which have fallen 79.7% and 78.1%, respectively.
  • With both the coronavirus and an oil price war leading to supply and demand shocks for the energy sector, a whole host of companies have seen share prices plunge in recent weeks in tandem with plunging crude prices. Over the last month, Apache Corporation and Noble Energy have both fallen just over 84%.
  • Stocks of other oil and gas companies are also suffering including ONEOK which is down by 80%, Diamondback Energy by 79% and Halliburton Company by 78.7%.
  • With the coronavirus causing a sharp decline in tourism and consumer spending, casino operators like MGM Resorts, down 77.5%, have taken massive financial losses.
  • Rounding out the top ten stocks that have plunged over the last month is Alliance Data Systems, which has fallen 77.5%—but the credit card loyalty program operator was already facing heavy losses during 2019.

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