The Lockdown Portfolio: Five stocks positioned to outperform if COVID-19 social distancing drags on

Many years ago, in the last recession, I penned a column here that set up a ‘survival’ portfolio. It held shares in a water company, a mattress company, a company that makes oxygen tanks and so on. Results were pretty good!

Now that we are back in another recession (not official yet, but who are we kidding?) we thought we would lay out a potential COVID-19 stock portfolio of five stocks whose shares might do well in a long lockdown. Buyers beware: some of these stocks have run hard already, and in a post-COVID world might seriously underperform. But for now, at least, they are looking good. Plus, it is usually a very good sign for a stock to rise while the rest of the world is retrenching, regardless of what’s going on. Here goes:

Netflix (NFLX on Nasdaq)

Of course, sometimes stocks are easier to pick than others. With

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PBOC Slashes Loan Rates, S&P Report Warns of Soaring APAC Unemployment By

By Gina Lee – S&P Global Ratings warned in a report that unemployment rates could rise well over 3 percentage points as the number of jobs shrinks.

The People’s Bank of China cut its one-year rate to 3.85% and its five-year rate to 4.65%, its second cut in 2020.

Japan attempts to pass an increased economic stimulus package, and New Zealand reported a better-than-expected consumer price index. 


Asia Pacific

A S&P Global Ratings report warned that unemployment rates in Asia-Pacific could soar well over 3 percentage point as social distancing measures slashes job creation.

“Surging unemployment in Asia-Pacific would mean a shallower recovery once the pandemic is contained and, in some economies, credit stress for leveraged householdsHistorical data show that jobs lost are not easily won back,” Shaun Roache, S&P Global Ratings Asia-Pacific chief economist, said.

China’s central bank cut its to

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Shake Shack, Potbelly: Companies with revenue over $100M are tapping small business relief loans

More than a dozen publicly traded companies with revenue of more than $100 million, including Shake Shack Inc., Potbelly Corp. and a Tex-Mex restaurant chain with more than 10,000 employees, received loans through a massive relief program aimed at small businesses.

With a $349 billion lending package for small business owners now exhausted, a review of regulatory filings shows that restaurant chains and companies in industries ranging from mining to manufacturing to cruise travel received large amounts, while much smaller businesses like neighborhood eateries and hair salons were locked out.

The disclosures could fuel calls for Congress to provide another round of funding to keep thousands of mom-and-pop firms afloat amid state lockdowns. Negotiations to replenish the tapped-out fund hit a stalemate last week, with Republicans calling for adding more money and Democrats also demanding changes to ensure smaller firms get loans, plus more funding for state and local … Read More