COVID-19 One Year Later: Stock Market Movers And Shakers

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things, including the way business is conducted. One year ago, several businesses asked their U.S. employees not to come into the office and work from home — for two weeks. However, since that announcement, most employees have not returned to the office.

The pandemic has certainly influenced stock market winners and losers. Exhibits 1 and 2 show the S&P 500 top and bottom 10 stock price movers.

Consumers were avoiding public transportation amid the pandemic, and that trend helped car sales. Health and wellness are also a top priority, so many decided to buy a “green” car and help de-carbonize the economy. As a result, Tesla has been the biggest S&P 500 stock mover from a year ago (Exhibit 1).

Meanwhile, consumers stuck at home looked for entertainment at ViacomCBS. This stock outperformed the broader market because of the robust demand for its streaming services during the pandemic.

Exhibit 1: S&P 500 Top Stock Price Performers over the last 52 weeks

Source: Refinitiv Eikon

Meanwhile, utility stocks have not been immune to the pandemic and have been struggling with reduced electricity consumption, which caused their stock prices to plummet. Because of the restrictions on nonessential businesses, electricity consumption and power demand fell shortly after the country went in lockdown. As a result, several utility companies were the weakest stock price performers since the pandemic started (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: S&P 500 Bottom Stock Price Performers over the last 52 weeks

Source: Refinitiv Eikon

Russell 1000

Consumers stuck at home also spent money improving the stay-at-home experience. Consequently, Wayfair was the biggest stock price gainer within the Russell 1000 (Exhibit 3).

Many corporations are discussing permanent working-from-home conditions. Accordingly, shoppers have been buying office and home furniture to improve the stay-at-home experience. This has boosted sales at Lovesac, Tempur Sealy, Wayfair and Williams Sonoma.

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