Visualizing The Coronavirus Stock Market Meltdown

Coronavirus panic is sweeping the world, forcing governments to take unprecedented steps to slow the pandemic. Schools are closed, bars are shutting down and public events are called off. The world is likely headed into a severe recession, causing stock prices to plummet as people cash out and sell everything. Here’s the latest on the extent of the damage for the share prices for several key companies.

  • The share price of Lyft suffered the most dramatic fall in our analysis, tumbling from $53.94 on February 11 to $23.88 on March 12, or -53.73%.
  • Several major companies have lost almost half their value in the last several weeks, including Pinterest (-47.18%), Expedia (-46.84%) and Citigroup (-46.84%).
  • No company in our visualization is escaping the turmoil, even as Americans stock up on cleaning supplies from companies like Johnson & Johnson (-18.04%) at stores such as Walmart (-13.14%).
  • The U.S. stock market remains highly volatile given the rapidly changing situation. This presents key opportunities for investors with a long time horizon and the fortitude to outlast price instability.

Collecting the data for such a dramatic drop in stock prices was relatively straightforward. First, we picked several well-known companies across key sectors in the economy, including IT, media, transportation and banking. Then, we looked up the highest closing stock price for each company this year and compared it to the closing price on March 12, 2020. Finally, we calculated the percentage drop in price and arranged the resulting visuals alphabetically by company name. This lets you easily and quickly see how the U.S. stock market has imploded over the last couple months.

The 10 Biggest Stock Price Drops in Our Visual:

1. Lyft: -55.73%
2. Pinterest: -47.18%
3. Expedia: -46.84%
4. Citigroup: -46.84%
5. Snapchat: -45.87%
6. Uber: -45.21%
7. BeyondMeat: -42.72%
8. Ford: -42.24%
9. Bank of America: -42.09%
10. Goldman Sachs: -39.29%

Stock markets around the world are collapsing before our eyes. The Nikkei Index from Japan is off more than 19% so far this year. The FTSE 100 in London is down almost 2,500 points since last month, more than 30% over the last year. In the U.S., the S&P 500 opened more than 8% down Monday morning, triggering another 15-minute halt in trading to stabilize prices. Our visualization puts all of this carnage into perspective by analyzing the specific prices of companies most people would recognize.

The situation in the transportation sector is likewise grim. Of all the stocks we analyzed, shares of Lyft have performed the worst, shedding an incredible -55.73% of value since February 11. Its main competitor, Uber, is not far behind, losing an astonishing -45.21% in the same timeframe. If bars, restaurants and universities are all closing around the world, it’s safe to assume these companies are going to fall even more.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of people to load up on groceries, cleaning supplies and other necessities. Panic buying is now widespread, with multiple reports of empty store shelves and shortages of hand sanitizer. But this doesn’t mean consumer goods companies are enjoying high market valuations. Instead, their share prices are falling in tandem with the rest of the market. Walmart is down “only” -13.14% after hitting a record high as recently as March 3. Johnson & Johnson is likewise down -18.04%, and Amazon is off -22.74% even as it runs out of inventory trying to meet consumer demand.

The banking and finance sector isn’t faring any better either. Bank of America is off -42.09%, Goldman Sachs is down -39.29% and Visa lost -24.95% in value. But Citigroup is in the worst shape, having dropped from $81.37 to just $43.26 per share over two months, or -46.84% in value. It’s still too early to know if major financial institutions are going to need bailouts like they did in 2008-09, however the rapidly spiraling downward trend is very troubling.

There are a couple caveats to keep in mind about our visualization. Prices will continue to rapidly change. As of this writing, the stock market is experiencing extreme volatility, the highest since 2009. Over the last several days, markets have been collapsing, then roaring back, and collapsing again. The recent drops are also happening after nearing all-time highs, meaning stocks may have been due for a correction anyway.

This presents some key opportunities for investors who have the risk tolerance to wait out the coronavirus. Are you planning on investing in stocks? Moving into cryptocurrency? Or are you hoarding cash? Let us know in the comments.

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Juan Carlos

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