Mar 2, 2020 - Economy & Business

Cole Haan and Warner Music Group postpone IPOs amid coronavirus uncertainty

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cole Haan and Warner Music Group are postponing their initial public offerings, which had been scheduled to launch this week, per Reuters.

Why it matters: This reflects how coronavirus is causing deal market chaos, because of both pricing volatility and a growing aversion to in-person meetings. It also should serve as a reminder to companies like Airbnb that "open windows" aren't eternal.

The bottom line, via Reuters' Joshua Franklin: "Companies were rushing to complete their IPOs to beat the political uncertainty that traditionally dampens stock market debuts close to the U.S. presidential election in November. The coronavirus outbreak has now derailed such plans for many IPO hopefuls."

Go deeper: Don't panic about the stock market

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2019 stock market gains still leave Trump behind his predecessors

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 has jumped 42% under President Trump — according to market data from the inauguration through 2019's final day of trading.

Why it matters: Trump uses the stock market's surge as a barometer of his presidency's success — one that, along with the 50-year low unemployment rate, he's sure to continue to tout as the 2020 election approaches — but the gains under him lag those under former Presidents Barack Obama, when stocks rebounded from the lows of the financial crisis, and George H.W. Bush.

The distracting shiny object: S&P ups and downs

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

For anyone who gets their economic news from cable TV, we're in the craziest period of the Trump presidency so far.

Driving the news: The S&P 500 fell by 3.4% last Monday, Feb. 24. It then fell another 3% the following day, and it fell by 4.4% on Thursday Feb. 27. This week, it rose 4.6% on Monday, fell 2.8% on Tuesday, and rose 4.2% on Wednesday. It's entirely possible we'll see another 3%+ swing today.

Companies hunker down for worst-case economic scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

What a difference a month makes.

Then: The nation's largest companies were on top of the world — buying back stock, watching their share prices flirt with all-time highs and hiring in droves.

Now: Corporate America is prepping for what could be a very lengthy and severe recession.