Markets & Research
Video games have provided an outlet during shelter-in-place orders, but they’ve also provided something else — connectivity and a proxy for public gatherings. In May, musician Travis Scott performed five in-game concerts in the blockbuster Fortnite, which racked up more than 45 million live views. That nexus of games and culture could help online worlds cement some of the gains they made during the shutdown.
In recent years, many consumers have been more conscious of their diets. That’s been a boon to producers that specialize in niche products like organic and gluten-free food. However, they’ve long struggled to get consumers to try new, off-the-shelf goods. But with the shutdown in motion, consumers have been shopping at grocers more — and that pantry-stocking has allowed them to discover tasty, nutritious products that are often cheaper than restaurant-produced meals.
U.S. market indexes have generated greater returns than international indexes over the past decade, but indexes don’t tell the whole story. On a company-by-company basis, most of the stocks with the best annual returns have been in non-U.S. markets. That trend was even more pronounced in the first quarter of 2020, with Chinese companies dominating the list. Why? It’s all about opportunities, and there are roughly three times as many foreign stocks as domestic ones.
Even after restaurants begin welcoming customers again, they might not be out of the woods. Social distancing requirements could limit the number of diners they could hold at once, and the industry tends to have high fixed costs, such as rent, labor and food. Some estimates say that up to 30% of restaurants could close their doors in the near term.