The Most Coronavirus-Sensitive Stocks from 12 Sectors, 25% of all News About the Pandemic, Lockdown Talk Rises

RavenPack | September 24, 2020

In this update, we ask what are the stocks most heavily impacted by media hype about the Coronavirus? Also, news about COVID continues to fall and Lockdown headlines hit a 1-month high on second waves.

Key Takeaways:

What are the Coronavirus sensitive stocks from 12 leading sectors? Share of news about COVID-19 hits a 6-month low Lockdown news levels at a 1-month high as second waves hit

Go To Coronavirus News Monitor


About a quarter of all news is about COVID-19. If that sounds like a lot, think again - it is, in fact, relatively low. The Coronavirus Media Hype Index, which measures the share of COVID news as a percentage of total news, registered 26.75% on September 20 - a 6-month low for the Index.

Compare that to when the Index hit a record high of 69.27% on March 30. It shows the media agenda has now ‘moved on’ after initially obsessing over the Coronavirus.


Another key takeaway from the monitor is that the share of Worldwide news referencing “Lockdown” has risen and hit a month-high on September 21 as many countries experienced second waves and government’s imposed new measures.



Certain sectors of the economy have been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus - think Airlines or Pharmaceuticals, for example, to take two ends of the pole.

To help users monitor the impact of COVID-19 on virus-sensitive stocks the RavenPack Coronavirus monitor includes a feature that ranks individual stocks from 12 leading industry groups, according to the percentage level of COVID-related news exposure.

Probably the most important of those industry groups is Pharmaceuticals for the obvious reason that many of the companies in the sector are involved in the development of Coronavirus vaccines.

RavenPack research about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on sensitive stock sectors showed that in the case of Pharmaceuticals, the level of media attention about a given Pharma stock was often a good predictor of whether the stock price would rise over the next 30-days. With the companies gaining the most attention generally seeing the greatest gains.

Another study showed that Airline stocks with a high media exposure to China-related news saw the deepest declines in the early days of the pandemic and acted as ‘frontrunners’ for other Airline stocks which soon followed, as the virus spread beyond China to the rest of the globe.

The table below shows ‘Pharmaceuticals’ companies listed according to media exposure, with Sanofi ranked highest at the time of writing due to the news that it has agreed to sell 72 million doses of its protein-based vaccine to the Canadian government. The implication is that the stock price will probably now rise too.


The table below shows the top-ranking stocks by media exposure from all 12 industry groups featured on the monitor including the percentage share of the news about the company that is coronavirus-related, the % daily change, the RavenPack event sentiment score (ESS) - a measure of news sentiment - as well as a column for whether the sentiment is rising, flat, or falling at the time of writing.


As can be seen from the table above, those stocks from sectors that have risen under COVID-19, such as Pharma, Healthcare, Tech, and Retail, generally also show positive sentiment when ranking high for media exposure.

This includes Abbot Laboratories Inc., which is seeing increased take up of its Coronavirus test kits by the U.S. Government, and Inc., which has seen huge profits during quarantine due to people staying in and reading or watching streaming media more.

Conversely, stocks from industry groups that have suffered, such as a consequence of the virus such as Airlines and Travel & Leisure show negative sentiment associated with the increased media exposure.

This includes Singapore Airlines, which has had to cut the pay of its remaining pilots, and Whitbread Plc, a pub chain, that has had to cut 6,000 jobs after a fall in demand due to people going out less.

Go To Coronavirus News Monitor

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Have a great day, and we’ll be back soon with more updates

Best Regards - Team RavenPack

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