These Few S&P 500 Stocks Rose in Wednesday’s Sell-Off

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Out of all stocks on the S&P 500 Wednesday, no stock rose more than 2.3%. 

The S&P 500 fell as much as 3% Wednesday, as virus cases seem to be continuing their substantial second wave of spreading. For the entire month of June, the index is flat, a move which included an almost 6% down day a few weeks ago. The move that day was predicated on a spike in virus cases, before stocks began rebounding as the largely cautious market observed that lockdowns had not yet been reinstated in most states. Meanwhile, it has been technology and secular growth stocks supporting the market, rather than cyclical value. 

The 5-day moving average of daily new coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit 34,000 Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins data. That level was last seen in late April. Just about a month ago, the trend was at 17,000. News also broke that visitors to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from “hotspot” states like Florida and Texas are mandated to quarantine for 14 days, stoking fears of more lockdowns. 

Wednesday, airlines and casino’s sold off more than 5%, while biotech stocks that are in the process of seeking COVID vaccine approvals, rallied. Some have suggested $3 billion (a drop in the bucket compared to the U.S. economy) worth of tariffs on European goods imposed by the U.S. is contributing to the sell-off, but the market movements suggest Wednesday was all about the virus. 

These four S&P 500 stocks rose: 

Kroger is a grocery store, a broader business which has caught a tailwind this year. First, consumers made a mad-dash for groceries, bringing one-year revenue and earnings higher. Now, it’s clear that if lockdowns are reinstated, grocery stores will not lose any business, as it's as essential a business as there is. 

C.H. Robinson is a transports company, so it may exhibited some cyclical qualities, making the up-move a bit of a curiosity on a day like Wednesday. 

Gilead Sciences is one of the leaders in race to get a vaccine approval. 

Tyler Technologies is a $13 billion, a growth software company serving the government as a customer. Investors have not only moved into growth stocks on economic and COVID fears, but Tyler’s revenue stream is fairly protected by the fact that the company sells to the government, making the stock somewhat defensive. 

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