Charting 2020 Stock Market Ups and Downs

The coronavirus pandemic is still actively reshaping the economy. With people stuck at home during a long winter, the demand for technology and delivery services has never been higher. But that doesn’t mean transportation and retail companies are all suffering, as our latest analysis of share prices makes clear.

stock market 2020

Stock market 2020Stock market 2020Stock market 2020

  • Tesla has seen the most dramatic rise in share price in recent memory through the pandemic, skyrocketing some 876.84% from $72.24 in March to $705.67. This landed the company in the Fortune 500 and made Elon Musk the richest man alive.
  • Amazon, already a highly valued company before the pandemic, has seen its share price rise the most in overall dollar terms, going from $1,676 to $3,566.93, or 94.23%.
  • Taken as a group, IT, tech and media companies are faring extremely well in the COVID economy with several companies posting triple-digit percentage increases in stock price.
  • Transportation and travel companies have also done pretty well recently, including Ford and GM (+119.2% and +147.86%).

To create our visual of the stock market’s broad recovery, first we identified 32 well-known companies representing a cross-section of the economy, including tech, travel, retail, banking and transportation. We located the lowest closing price in 2020 for each company according to Yahoo Finance. For the vast majority of firms, prices bottomed out mid- to late-March. Then we calculated the overall difference from the low point until December 31, 2020, drawing a straight line with a percentage change called out. The result is a snapshot of a rapidly recovering and now expanding stock market, despite the enduring challenges of COVID-19 to the broader economy.

Top 10 Companies With the Highest Stock Surge

Company Rise Since Min Adj Price (2020)
1. Tesla +876.84%
2. Pinterest +503.48%
3. Snapchat +498.21%
4. Shopify +251.22%
5. Uber +244.13%
6. Lyft +206.11%
7. Expedia +190.03%
8. Nvidia +166.17%
9. Slack +147.89%
10. GM +147.86%

Our visualizations make it clear that lots of companies have seen their values recover, and in fact grow, during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. stock market overall is performing exceptionally well, recently setting another record high in light of more fiscal stimulus from the federal government. This optimism is reflected across the board in several different parts of the economy. Even big American car manufacturers have seen demand for their share prices, with Ford and GM both rising (+119.2% and +147.86%, respectively).

There are a couple reasons why stock prices keep going up as unemployment doesn’t seem to get better. Since interest rates are so low, investors necessarily have to buy stocks to have any kind of hope for a return. But individual investors have also started actively day trading stocks too, sending the prices of some companies on a wild ride.

What are the implications of a rapidly rising stock market? The richest people in the world are getting a lot richer, since a lot of Americans don’t actually own any stock. Elon Musk’s personal net worth very much depends on Tesla’s stock price, and his fortune is now valued at about $185B. Amazon’s stock has likewise seen a great year rising from $1,676 to $3,256.93, though nowhere near as good as Tesla. Depending on how the prices of Tesla and Amazon stock are doing on any given day, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos are trading places as the world’s wealthiest individuals.

How do you think the stock market will perform in 2021? Are we headed for another record-breaking year? Let us know in the comments.

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