U.S. Sanitation Stocks Clean Up As Coronavirus Health Concerns Spike

Most of these firms have recently seen their stocks lift, along with shares of the broader Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA: XLP), which has among its top holdings Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), as well as beverage giants The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo (Nasdaq: PEP).

California-headquartered Clorox, for example, has pointed out that its disinfecting wipes and bleach have “demonstrated effectiveness against viruses” like 2019-nCoV and, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Emerging Pathogen Policy, certain of its products can be used against the novel coronavirus “when used as directed.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota-based industrial and consumer goods company 3M said in late January it was increasing global production of its personal protective equipment products – including respirators – in response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

The firm noted it observed a rise in demand in China, as well as in other regions, and has been working with customers, distributors, and government and health officials to help them obtain needed supplies.

To this effect, the company donated medical supplies such as respirators, surgical masks and hand sanitizer in affected areas in China and promised to continue working with its humanitarian aid partners, including the Wuhan Red Cross, Direct Relief and MAP International to provide needed equipment.

Also, Honeywell has reportedly ramped-up on its face mask production, citing a surge in demand for the product across North America, Europe and China.

In intraday trading Tuesday, Clorox was up around 5.4% to $164.23, 3M had gained more than 0.65% to $157.64 and Honeywell stock had risen over 2.5% to $175.68, according to the IBKR Trader Workstation. The XLP ETF was also up about 1% to $63.81.

Investors will be likely watching the spread of the virus closely, as sanitation-related firms continue their campaign to fight against further contagion.

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