What happened 

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) fell as much as 6% in trading today as the stock market plunged once again. At 3:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, shares were still down 5.2% and showed no signs of recovering. 

So what

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 2.6% and the S&P 500 is down 2.3% today, so Royal Caribbean has fallen more than the market. That's not a huge surprise given that cruise lines are very highly leveraged in their operations. Even a small reduction in revenue could lead to a large decline in earnings, and that's what worries investors right now. 

Cruise liner on open water.

Image source: Getty Images.

To be clear, there hasn't been any bad operating news from Royal Caribbean today; it's just a market shift that drove the stock. What investors should watch for are signs of a slowing economy or falling consumer spending, which could affect revenue long term. 

Now what

Today, I don't think there's a reason to panic for Royal Caribbean shareholders. The market has been swinging wildly lately, and this is just the latest such move. In fact, with shares trading at a trailing P/E ratio of 11 and a 3% dividend yield, there could be nice value for buyers today. If the economy continues to grow, Royal Caribbean should grow along with it, and could be a big winner long term. 

Travis Hoium has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.