What happened

Shares of T-Mobile (TMUS 0.04%) declined by 11.2% on Thursday, coinciding with a vicious marketwide sell-off that saw the major U.S. indexes fall nearly 10%.

So what

The outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is causing panic to spread throughout the financial markets. More than 127,000 people have been infected with the disease and over 4,700 have died. Markets around the world have plunged in response.

The measures being taken to combat COVID-19 are likely to have severe economic ramifications. Travel bans, business closures, and forced quarantines will all take a toll on the economy -- and concerns are mounting that we're headed for a recession.

A person pointing to a stock chart that rises then falls.

T-Mobile and many other stocks declined sharply on Thursday. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

If a recession takes hold, T-Mobile should hold up relatively well. People are unlikely to cancel their cellphone service in the middle of a crisis. T-Mobile's plans are often priced considerably lower than its rivals AT&T and Verizon, which should further help it hold on to cost-conscious customers.

T-Mobile is also getting very close to finalizing its merger with Sprint (S). The deal is expected to result in substantial operational synergies, as the two wireless competitors reduce redundancies and enjoy increased scale advantages. This, in turn, should allow the combined company to be significantly more profitable than either business could be alone.

As such, the current sell-off could be a good time to pick up some shares of T-Mobile.