As new cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, are reported across the United States, many Americans are rushing to Costco
Cases of the COVID-19 are popping up across the continental United States at a rapid pace; cases have been reported on the west coast in Washington State, where dozens of cases have been reported including nine deaths, and on the east coast in Florida, where three cases have been reported, and many tests on potential cases are underway. The rapid rate at which new cases are cropping up has caused a panic, which has many Americans flocking to markets to stock up for what they believe will be a larger pandemic that may cause disruptions to everyday life.
Costco stores have been a target for many, as the Costco Wholesale Corporation has a positive reputation for handling heavy demand well. Photos flooded social media over the last week or so of Costco stores packed with shoppers and shelves emptied of basic goods such as bottled water and toilet paper. The rush to Costco stores has at least one analyst forecasting a considerable sales boost for the corporation as well as a bump to the company's stock. Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh addressed this in a letter to clients, stating, "We expect material comp benefits for Costco. Our observations and conversations with store employees [and] management suggest a strong pickup in traffic starting Thursday through at least Saturday."
Costco has performed well in general over the last year, with stocks up 37% and its market cap at a respectable $123 billion. A noticeable bump could be seen in Costco's stock price during trading on Monday, where it jumped 6% before slumping back down 4%. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The market rush is part of a larger wave of panic that has gripped the United States as the COVID-19 spreads worldwide, and new cases are reported countrywide. Stocking up is advised against by authorities across the country, who have assured Americans that food and water will not be affected by the COVID-19. Sales of hand sanitizer and protective masks have seen the highest spike in demand among other commodities, though authorities have advised against the needless purchase of masks as they do not offer any protection against the COVID-19. Authorities nationwide are recommending all Americans follow basic preventative steps that are more than enough to limit the spread of the COVID-19, such as those offered by the Centers for Disease Control.