Monday morning brought investors another set of unprecedented news, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread and markets remained jittery. The Federal Reserve announced that it would take whatever measures were necessary to maintain the health of the credit markets, with quantitative easing and other programs designed to ensure that borrowers would be able to get the financing they need. Even that wasn't enough to satisfy investors entirely. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.82%) was down 334 points to 18,839. The S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.88%) dropped 39 points to 2,266, and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) fell 16 points to 6,864.
One big winner from the coronavirus outbreak so far has been Zoom Video Communications (ZM -3.49%), and the stock jumped another 16% on news that some at first found troublesome but that in the long run could be extremely encouraging. Meanwhile, health sciences company Danaher (DHR 0.26%) got a more modest boost on coronavirus news that could boost its business as well.
Zoom keeps zooming
Shares of Zoom Video Communications jumped another 16%, adding to its gains recently. The workplace collaboration specialist filed its annual report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, and what Zoom said about its near-term future gave investors cause for celebration.
At first glance, some shareholders might have taken what Zoom said as a negative warning. "We expect our cost of revenue to increase for the foreseeable future," Zoom's filing said, "as we expand our data center capacity and third party cloud hosting due to increased usage stemming from the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus."
Yet smart investors looked past the immediate cost increases to see the news as a reflection of just how much business Zoom is getting during the pandemic. With a rising number of people being told to stay home from work, the need for the company's collaboration platform is soaring. Investors hope that once businesses have had a chance to use Zoom, they'll get hooked and remain subscribers even if the need for extreme measures lets up in the future.
Zoom's shares have doubled since Feb. 1, and many see an even rosier future for the collaboration software-as-a-service company. With many stocks still plunging, Zoom has truly been a big beneficiary of the coronavirus crash.
Danaher gets a go-ahead
Meanwhile, in the healthcare field, Danaher's stock inched higher by 1%. A key subsidiary got good news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in its fight against the coronavirus, and the positive impact should last as long as the pandemic remains severe.
Danaher's Cepheid molecular diagnostics unit got FDA approval on Saturday for an emergency use authorization for its Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test. The test can detect the virus that causes COVID-19 within 45 minutes using any of the company's more than 23,000 GeneXpert diagnostic systems across the globe, including almost 5,000 in the U.S. market.
Demand for coronavirus testing has been immense, with shortages contributing to some of the public health challenges facing officials around the world. The FDA approval reflects the need for a rapid response to the pandemic, and testing will remain a key component of understanding the spread of the disease and planning how to stop it.
Danaher's stock hasn't fared nearly as well as Zoom's. Investors hope that the news could help the shares recover, as well as make a huge difference in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the days, weeks, and months to come.