The impact of the novel coronavirus strain COVID-19 is already apparent across the world. NASA has shared photos of Chinese skies, which are clearer as production has shut down, and citizens have become shut-ins. However, Americans and American businesses have also felt the pressure due to coronavirus as well.
Among the many ways that coronavirus has proven costly, the hit that stocks and markets have taken remains a telling sign. China, which produces many of the goods sold around the world, has paused many factories, and the impact reached overseas even before the virus did. Before the spread of this outbreak outside of China, American technology stock was consistently rising. But companies such as Google, Microsoft, and even Apple have seen their stock prices plummet over the last few weeks. And they’re not alone.
While stock markets fluctuate from time to time, the recent plummet is undeniable. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, all of which had seen a higher percentage increase since the beginning of the year than Apple, still remained above their cost from January 1st. Facebook, however, which once was rising faster than Microsoft and Amazon, is 4 percent lower than its yearly starting point. Apple, too, has fallen quite far, with stock plummeting to 1% below its value at the beginning of the year.
Apple has responded to these changes with a press release that explained iPhone stock would remain low without Chinese manufacturers keeping up with the demand. The press release went on to state that the company was unlikely to meet revenue goals that were forecast at the beginning of 2020’s second quarter. On top of this, Apple has had to close Chinese stores due to a lack of demand. Like many companies, Apple has ceased employees to travel to China.
Still, the coronavirus outbreak highlights how closely tech companies like Apple work with their Chinese partners who provide funding and talent in addition to manufactured goods. Apple is far from the only company this applies to, even if their stock seems to have suffered the worst fate.
However, the press release ended on a hopeful note, noting the belief that this setback would only be temporary, perhaps much like it was with the 2003 SARS outbreak.
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