US shares: the winners and losers of the Covid crisis

US shares: the winners and losers of the Covid crisis
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With all that’s happened this year, US shares have understandably seen plenty of ups and downs. US stock market news has been rampant. Although it may feel like 2020 has been a rubbish year for everyone, this isn’t completely true. The trials and tribulations we’ve all collectively faced have still created winners and losers. 

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The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in some surprising defeats but also some unexpected success stories in the US share market. This article is going to show you a complete scoreboard of the best and worst performers on the stock market this year. 

Businesses and markets adapt

This year has seen many changes to the ways in which we work and live. 

Increased remote working and long-distance socialising have led to an accelerated adoption of technology. This has worked in favour of numerous US tech companies who’ve gained a lot from the ‘Zoom boom’. 

Alongside the more widespread use of technology by businesses and those at home, politics also had an impact on the market. The result of the US election led to a “Biden bounce“, which saw global markets rally.

So who has benefited from these developments and who has floundered?

Which US shares were the biggest winners?

According to information and research from Stake, here are some of the top-performing US shares, whose prices have soared to dizzying heights this year.

Amazon (+63%)

This was a pretty predictable inclusion. With people across the world being confined to their homes, having products delivered to the doorstep has never been more useful. On top of this, Amazon’s video content, audiobooks, and eBooks have served as much-needed distractions.

All of this positivity has helped Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s majority shareholder, to cement his spot as one of the world’s richest people.

Slack (+90%)

Somewhat less of a household name than other inclusions in the winner’s column, Slack has still been a standout performer. With increasing numbers working remotely, Slack’s valuation has soared. 

Slack’s usefulness as a business communications service and an increase in the company’s share price has even attracted a potentially huge buyout of the company.

Zoom (+491%)

Without doubt, the biggest success story of the year has been Zoom. Not only has the business managed to capitalise on people working from home, but it’s also managed to become a societal staple. 

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Even the most ardent technophobes have found themselves using the platform for work or social reasons. Zoom has proven to be the right business at the right time. The skyrocketing demand for the company’s services has naturally been reflected in its share price.   

Which US shares were the biggest losers?

Unfortunately, some businesses haven’t fared so well in these crazy times. Here are some of the biggest losers in the US share market:

Disney (-17%)

This may seem surprising. After all, Disney launched its long-awaited Disney+ streaming service at the end of last year.

Unfortunately, 2020 hasn’t been a good year for Mickey and The Gang. Disney is still a company heavily reliant on travel and tourism. However, the company has also shown resilience and adaptability in the past, so I wouldn’t count Disney out.

Delta Airlines (-30.5%)

The airline industry is suffering and Delta Airlines has been one of the hardest-hit companies. Its share price tanked (with the rest of the market) but has struggled to bounce back like others. 

There’s still a lot of uncertainty around travel for leisure and work. No one quite yet knows the lay of the land for the travel industry, and investors are waiting to see how things unfold.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCC) (-40%)

The travel industry has taken a bad hit this year. Cruise companies in particular suffered initially due to a lot of negative press relating to outbreaks. As things escalated, the RCC share price plummeted.

RCC has managed to successfully recover from its rock bottom. Even so, the company is still a long way from the shore.

Winners and losers

Like any year, this one has strengthened some companies whilst weakening others. 

Perhaps you have your eyes on a losing company or industry where you see good value. Or maybe you believe one of the winners from this year will keep growing as society continues to adapt.

Either way, by using one of our top-rated share dealing accounts, you can invest in the US shares that you think will have a breakout year in 2021.

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