Global markets went berserk in the first quarter, thanks to the widespread coronavirus scare. The confirmed cases crossed 7,00,000 worldwide. Wall Street slipped into the bear territory in mid-March. Overall, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq composite losing about 21.3%, 24.2% and 16.4%, respectively, in the quarter (as of Mar 27, 2020).
The pandemic has been causing massive global economic losses. Oil price slumped to an 18-month low on demand worries and prospects of supply growth. Central banks and governments of various countries have been putting in coordinated efforts to alleviate the impact of the disease. There have been widespread lockdowns as well.
Against such a distressing backdrop, we would likely to point out the sectors which outperformed the broader market in Q1. We have also picked two stock winners from each sector.
At the current level, the sector is striving to come upwith treatment and vaccines for the virus. Naturally, those in the testing and making of kits, drugs and vaccines to fight COVID-19 gained immensely in Q1.
Co-Diagnostics Inc. (CODX - Free Report) — Up 922.1%
The molecular diagnostics company completed the clinical evaluation of its Logix Smart COVID-19 PCR test that detects COVID-19 presence within two hours. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
VAXART Inc. (VXRT - Free Report) — Up 396.4%
This Zacks Rank #2 clinical-stage company has entered into an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS - Free Report) to develop oral recombinant vaccines administered by tablet. Vaxart plans to initiate a Phase 1 clinical study early in the second half of 2020 (read: Coronavirus Drug Development Race to Boost These 4 Stocks).
The technology sector has been pretty much immune to the massive stock selloffs. In any case, emerging technologies are here to stay. The coronavirus outbreak has raised the need for technological advancements even more, given the widespread work-and-learn-from-home trend and Internet usage.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM - Free Report) — Up 122.9%
This Zacks Rank #2 company is a beneficiary of the high demand for working from home now. Zoom allows individuals to meet and work productively when meeting in-person isn't possible, helping employees to stay connected. Zoom has witnessed a massive rise in downloads since quarantines were enacted around the world.
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (CRWD - Free Report) — Up 17.9%
The Zacks Rank #2 company provides cloud-delivered endpoint protection. The cybersecurity company is well-positioned for the emerging concepts of work-from-home. The company’s earnings results in March showed beats on both lines.
Online Food Retailing
Food retailing is a kind of non-cyclical sector and is likely to be less hammered by any market crash. The sector emerged as a true safe haven amid the latest crisis as even people on quarantine need daily essentials. However, this time, restaurant or grocery companies with solid online presence have won the show.Notably, ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF (CLIX - Free Report) has gained 12.1% so far this year.
Domino's Pizza Inc (DPZ - Free Report) — Up 15.3%
The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) pizza-delivery giant has dodged the selloffs and virus fear successfully. Since "consumers are starting to shift their eating-out budgets toward delivery and carryout meals” in favor of social distancing, Domino’s Pizza has benefited a lot.
JD.com Inc. (JD - Free Report) — Up 13.9%
JD.com, which operates as an online direct sales company in China, has emerged as a virus-proof stock. JD.com reported 215% year-over-year growth in online grocery sales during a 10-day period between late January and early February. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3.
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