Streaming video, online retailers escape pandemic pounding

Streaming video, online retailers escape pandemic pounding
This Jan. 29, 2010, file photo, shows the company logo and view of Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. COVID-19 may have knocked U.S. stocks into a bear market and pummeled the U.S. economy, but the disease has also left some companies asking the question: "What recession?" (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

COVID-19 may have knocked U.S. stocks into a bear market and pummeled the U.S. economy, but the disease has also left some companies asking the question: "What recession?"

Streaming media services, , and consumer staples companies have all gained ground as people stay home, try to stay entertained and focus on essentials. Netflix, already the top streaming entertainment service, has benefited from a mostly captive audience.

Amazon.com has seen consumers flock to its site for their purchases. The has been furiously hiring workers to meet demand, bucking the national trend of mass layoffs.

"The outperformance of those names has been nothing but extraordinary," said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG. "We have no doubt they will gain in importance as mainstays of life."

Grocery chains and certain consumer product makers, including Clorox, have also held up well as shop for food, toiletry and cleaning essentials during the pandemic.

Investors have been mostly hunkering down as they absorb updates about the virus and its economic impact. Analysts are urging investors to stay calm and look more closely at how a company is positioned financially and whether its business model is solid.

Streaming video, online retailers escape pandemic pounding
In this Tuesday, April 14, 2020 file photo, a Trader Joe's grocery store employee takes in a shipment of food as the line to get in the store stretches down a city block on 14th Street and U Street in Washington. COVID-19 may have knocked U.S. stocks into a bear market and pummeled the U.S. economy, but the disease has also left some companies asking the question: "What recession?" (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

"What you want to know is that the company can survive intact," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. "You need to know that the can weather the storm."

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is benefiting from its reach and as shoppers focus on food and other essentials. Investors have also given steady support to Kroger and other large grocery chains, as food shopping remains essential during the business shutdowns.

The pandemic is also shining a spotlight on normally low-key investments in household consumer product companies. Clorox, whose name is synonymous with bleach, is seeing demand surge for its household cleaning and sanitizing products.

Investors are also focused on a handful of drug developers that quickly moved to begin developing treatments for COVID-19. Both Regeneron and Gilead Sciences have seen their stocks jump over the last several months as investors cheer encouraging updates on their progress.


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