On Friday, stocks slumped as second wave fears were reignited following a report that Apple would temporarily shutter 11 U.S. retail stores across Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina. "Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas," an Apple spokesman said in a statement.“We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible."
Fast forward to today, when with stocks already sliding on renewed virus of a second wave of virus infections, moments ago Apple reported that it would re-close another 7 stores in Houston and Texas due to the coronavirus spike.
The headline hit at time when stock uneasiness was "morphing into fright" as Bloomberg put it, after data showed virus cases spiking in Florida and Texas, California reporting a record 7,149 new cases, while New York, Connecticut and New Jersey said visitors would face a mandatory quarantine. The news sent the S&P sliding 2.7%.
"The latest coronavirus news is not positive for the stock market which was betting the worst of the pandemic recession was behind us," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank. “Hopes of investors looking for a better economy to improve the bottom lines of companies shut down in the recession have been dashed."
Analysts have been paying attention to see whether other retailers follow suit to see if it adds any concerns to the reopening narrative, but so far Apple are the only ones doing so.