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Local stocks take a 7 percent hit on coronavirus concerns

Margie Manning



Photo by CDC on Unsplash

A stock portfolio made up of the securities offered by the largest publicly traded companies headquartered in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area dropped in value by 6.9 percent last week as coronavirus fears spread.

The hypothetical stock portfolio — made up of 100 shares of each of the 18 largest locally based public firms — fell in value from $63,879 when the market opened Feb. 24 to $59,446 at the closing bell on Friday.

Although the market rebounded on Monday, March 2, it took back many of those gains today after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in an emergency effort to stem slower economic growth from the coronavirus outbreak, CNBC reported.

Chris Meekins, a healthcare analyst at Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF), believes volatility will likely be the norm until short-term fears subside, according to a commentary posted on the St. Petersburg-based financial services firm’s website.

The biggest stock price drop among local firms was at Apyx Medical Corp. (Nasdaq: APYX), a Clearwater-based medical device company. Apyx stock fell from $7.32 a share at the open on Feb. 24 to $6.05 at the close on Feb. 28, a 17.3 percent decline.

Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL), the largest company headquartered in St. Petersburg, took a 10.8 percent hit on its stock price last week, after the manufacturer said its factories in Asia had been adversely impacted by the virus. Jabil opened the week at $35.92 a share and ended it at $32.05.

But Superior Group of Companies (Nasdaq: SGC), a Seminole company that sources products from China for use in uniform manufacturing and promotional products, was one of the few local firms to see its stock price rise last week, from $10.52 to $12.02, a 14.3 percent gain. That increase came despite Superior’s warning on Feb. 21 that it had begun to be negatively impacted by the virus.

Here’s a look at the stock performance of the 18 publicly traded companies with a market capitalization over $100 million that are headquartered in the metro area.

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