HH One Year Later: Lessons From The Coronavirus Stock Sell-Off

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In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic went global, resulting in deaths and economic shutdowns across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Stocks Plunged on Coronavirus Fears

In February and March 2020, the panic on Wall Street was real. The stock market plunged into a bear market in the quickest pace ever seen in history.

But Congress also moved quickly to pass a massive $3 trillion aid package.

The size of the package soothed Wall Street.

Stocks hit their lows in March and rebounded.

They haven’t looked back, with the major indexes now, a year later, breaking out to new all-time highs.

What did you do in March 2020 when stocks plunged?

3 Lessons from the Coronavirus Sell-Off

1.  Don’t Panic. Sometimes it’s better to do nothing on a quick market sell-off.

2.  You don’t have to buy at the lows to be a winner. Tracey bought Pinterest (PINS - Free Reportand Penske Automotive (PAG - Free Reportin Zacks Value Investor portfolio months after they hit their coronavirus sell-off lows. Penske had already rebounded 40% when she bought it. It’s up over 100% since.

3.  Buy the leaders. The best companies still took a hit during the pandemic, but they were able to weather the storm. When a crisis happens, who can survive?

A Year Later, What Stocks Are Still Cheap?

The pandemic looks to be winding down, thanks to the rollout of the vaccines.

Where can you find value stocks in March 2021 with the top Zacks Ranks?

1. Ecopetrol (EC - Free Reportis a Big Oil Colombian energy company. It’s a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock. It’s trading with a forward P/E of 11. Earnings are expected to rise 228% in 2021 as the global economy reopens.

2. Toyota (TM - Free Reporthas a forward P/E of just 11. With earnings expected to rise in fiscal 2021, it has a PEG ratio of 0.99. It is a rare stock that has both growth and value characteristics. Auto sales are expected to remain strong in 2021.

3. Triton International (TRTN - Free Reportis a global seller and lessor of intermodal containers. It’s dirt cheap with a forward P/E of 8.2. Shares are up 109% over the last year as shipping remains on fire. It pays a dividend, currently yielding 3.9%. 

In full disclosure, Tracey owns shares of PINS in her personal portfolio.

Disclaimer: Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the  more

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