Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Companies that make products geared toward staying at home — think peanut butter, exercise bikes and telecommunication software — are the unexpected beneficiaries of the evolving coronavirus economy.

Why it matters: There are dour forecasts for the global economy as the coronavirus runs its course. But investors are placing bets on what consumers will need as the fast-spreading outbreak worsens.

Where things stand: While last week's coronavirus sell-off in the markets left few companies unscathed and this week's rebound has been a big help, there are some companies whose stock movements — up or down stand out:

  • Only 7 out of 500 publicly traded companies in the U.S. gained value last week, according to the Wall Street Journal — including Clorox, the disinfectant manufacturer, and Gilead Sciences and Regeneron, which are working on coronavirus treatments.

Other noteworthy stock gainers throughout the stock market's jittery run include other pharma companies — like Moderna, whose vaccine is in the midst of an early clinical trial — and tech companies that connect people when movement around the globe is limited, like Zoom, Teledoc and Dropbox.

  • Peloton, whose home exercise bikes save people trips to germ-laden gyms, briefly saw its shares spike amid the broader market's sell-off.

Conversely, travel companies — like the major cruise lines, plus big airlines and hotel chains — have been punished. American Airlines, which flies lots of Pacific routes, lost 25% of its value over four trading days, Forbes noted.

There's been a clear trend favoring companies that could benefit from people staying home, filling their pantries and preparing for a worsening outbreak.

  • B&G Foods, which makes long-lasting pantry goods including B&M canned beans and Cream of Wheat, has caught relative favor with investors, as has comfort food producer J.M. Smucker, which makes peanut butter and jelly.
  • Clorox's bleach and disinfectant wipes are being piled into shopping carts across the country.

Purell hand sanitizers and wipes are flying off store shelves so quickly that consumers complain they can't get hold of them. The maker of Purell — privately held Gojo Industries — tells Axios that it has increased production.

  • Supply of hand sanitizers and medical face masks — which consumers are also stocking up on, despite warnings from medical professionals — "have already dried up in some markets, with no clear indication of when supplies will be replenished," according to a new report by Nielsen.

The big picture: Even as market pressures eased, investors crowded into names that could see increased demand amid coronavirus fears.

  • On Monday, the S&P 500 jumped 4% and Costco was the best-performing stock in the index, rising 10%.
  • "As consumers prioritize a dwindling number of trips to stores, Costco will likely be at the top of the list," Michael Lasser, an analyst at UBS, wrote in a note to clients this week.
  • Products like toilet paper, frozen food and bottled water are inspiring "panic buying" and stockpiling, the Washington Post reported.

Supermarkets and other suppliers of basic goods are hunkering down and preparing for increased traffic to their stores.

  • What they're saying: "Instead of one eight-hour shift, retailers are adding a second or third shift to do 24-hour around-the-clock deliveries to get products people need for maximum safety," Burt Flickinger, who runs Strategic Resource Group and is a longtime consultant to the retail industry, tells Axios.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.