COVID-19 and the Cross-Section of Equity Returns: Impact and Transmission
58 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020 Last revised: 26 Jan 2021
Date Written: April 29, 2020
Using the first reported case of COVID-19 in a given US county as the event day, firms headquartered in an affected county experience an average 27 bps lower return in the 10-day post-event. This negative effect nearly doubles in magnitude for firms in counties with a higher infection rate (-50 bps). We test a number of transmission channels. Firms belonging to labor intensive industries and residing in counties with large mobility decline have worse stock performance. Firms sensitive to COVID-19 induced uncertainty also exhibit more negative returns. Finally, firms associated with downward earnings forecast revisions are more impacted.
Keywords: COVID-19, Equity Returns, Labor Supply, Uncertainty, Earnings Forecast
JEL Classification: E4, E6, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation