After a slow climb in January, the covid-19 pandemic flushed all profits down the drain in a matter of weeks. This was mostly personified by Tesla’s Q1 rollercoaster, going from a short squeeze which sparked a 50% increase in the stock price to being hit by the covid-19 lockdown, which made it drop back to where the year started.
Following a fantastic year in 2019, the market took a tumble in the first months of 2020. This resulted in a 24% drop on the S&P 500.
“Over the last year we have continuously asked ourselves ‘can this really go on?’. Q1 showed us it could not, however no one expected a black swan event like a pandemic to cause such a supply and demand shock,” says Peter Garnry, Head of Equity Strategy in Saxo Bank.
A few months ago a global lockdown would be stranger than fiction, but as this reality dawns, it is important to see what is to come: “Not since 2008 has the world been this uncertain and out of balance. As equity prices reflect the future and growth prospects, they are the most sensitive to current crisis. The last couple of months have given investors a glimpse of what’s lurking around the corner. Countries have entered lockdown, hospitals have been overstretched and demand for certain products and services has been in freefall,” says Peter Garnry.
Saxo Bank’s most traded stocks in Q1:
Peter Garnry, Head of Equity Strategy, comments on the five most traded stocks among Saxo Bank’s clients:
Q1 have had Tesla written all over it, as Elon Musk’s rollercoaster ride something special. Elon Musk’s electric car company went from reaching the sky, following an incredible short squeeze, to slamming the ground in just a matter of four weeks.
For now the outlook depends on Chinese production starting to recover, which might get the Tesla ball rolling again. However, Musk could end up stuck in the mud of a recession.
Following a record year in 2019, CEO Tim Cook needed to keep momentum in the phone and wearable market. But as with most companies around the globe, the supple chain took a big hit after the coronavirus lockdowns started in Asia. This forced Apple to announce as early as mid-February, that the company would not meet quarterly expectations. With the corona lockdowns still ongoing, it is hard to guess whether this will trend into Q2 as well.
Last year Microsoft’s cloud-based unit made an impressive 59 percent revenue jump. This could improve even further, as most of the world is currently working from home. Instead of Microsoft needing to push for businesses to start using their cloud technology, businesses are forced to experience them first hand in order to operate on a daily basis.
Following years of instability following an extensive white washing scandal, 2020 was supposed to be the year of consolidation for Denmark’s largest bank. As with the rest of the banking sector, covid-19 shattered that for the time being. Chris Vogelzang still got a lot of work ahead of him – one being to reestablish trust between the bank and its customers.
Jeff Bezos’ everything store proved itself ever so resilient during Q1’s covid-19 pandemic. While the rest of the market dropped double digits, Amazon left the first quarter of 2020 in the same state in which they started the year. In a time of crisis, the Seattle based company even set out to hire an additional 100,000 employees to accommodate the many orders from quarantined customers around the globe.