As coronavirus continues to affect our world, it has produced volatile market conditions that are easily swayed by various news items. People certainly are looking for hope and help with the virus. The economy has been shaken but has shown some ability to rebound today.
News has come out that a rapid test kit for COVID-19 has become available for use by medical professionals. It will sell for less than $10. The company BioAmerica (BMRA) has made a finger prick test that can provide results in just 10-minutes. Stocks rose quickly after news of the test came out and it is being ordered by government agencies and multiple countries. It is a disposable test and can detect whether someone has been exposed to the virus and if they have it now, even if no symptoms are apparent.
Several new medications for coronavirus are expected to be made available soon. Some of them have other designated uses and have not been approved for COVID-19, but may be made available for people who want to try them. Another medicine that is used to treat malaria, hydroxychloroquine, has shown some success in treating coronavirus. Doctors are already saying that it is in short supply.
Oil prices have suffered considerably since coronavirus started limiting travel. It was made even worse by the OPEC and Russia price wars. Today, oil prices were seen to raise some, giving some hope to investors and the oil companies. It may be the result of news that President Trump may use diplomacy to intervene by asking the Saudis to reduce output and possibly place sanctions on Russia.
The Government May Get a Stake in Corporations
President Trump announced the possibility that the government may buy stock in some companies that are struggling. Companies that are failing now may be considered for buying stock as the U.S. considers providing aid to struggling employees and to keep the companies or industries from failing. This has been done before. Large industries that may be helped by it include airlines, cruise ships, the hotel industry, restaurants, and more.
Ban on American Travel
The State Department just issued a statement that tells Americans to either come home or get ready to shelter in place. There had been a travel Level 3 threat already in existence, but it was raised to Level 4, which is usually only used for countries that are at war or where there is a threat to Americans. For those that want to come home, it could be very difficult to find transportation, since very few airlines are flying to Europe.
Stockpiling Still Taking Place
People across the nation are still panic-buying and stockpiling. Stores are continuously running short on some items such as toilet paper, hand cleaner, and some foods. Amazon (AMZN.O) has stopped its grocery order program called Prime Pantry, which delivers food to your door. It has had so many orders that it has run short on some items and must restock before it can take new ones.
Coronavirus is not expected to go away silently or quickly. We are now being told that it could last as long as 12 to 18 months, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Michael Osterholm, says. This means that the stock market can be expected to show instability for some time to come – which could mean some great investing opportunities.