Late Tuesday night, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate stopped arguing, and began agreeing on the details of a planned $2 trillion stimulus deal to save the American economy from coronavirus. Among those details: $367 billion in loans for small businesses such as restaurants, which are currently bleeding money as they keep their doors closed to promote social distancing.
Although the stimulus package hasn't been passed just yet, the Senate has voted to approve it, and the House is expected to follow soon. In anticipation of the news, shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) stock closed up 5.5% today, Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD) gained 13.7%, and even Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) emerged a winner -- up 8.3%.
Now, you may have noticed that none of these three stocks are restaurant stocks (although some restaurant stocks, too, are doing pretty well today).
Nonetheless, all three are likely to benefit from an economic package designed in large part to save the restaurant industry. On Tuesday, for example, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey lamented that while Coke is selling a lot of Coke (and bottled water) in grocery stores these days, these "at-home" drinks sales aren't enough to offset the loss of "away from home" sales -- i.e. the revenue Coca-Cola gets from selling soft drinks to restaurants. By ensuring restaurants stay in business throughout this crisis, the government is helping to ensure that Coca-Cola will have someone to sell to in the future.
At Beyond Meat, we could see a similar dynamic, as the company's pre-corona string of successes inking faux meat supply deals with restaurant chains will now have a better chance of paying off for the company once again.
And of course, Middleby -- which sells commercial kitchen equipment to restaurants -- would be another obvious beneficiary of restaurants not going bankrupt due to a lack of customers.
Will these three companies hold onto their gains come Thursday (and beyond)? Given how the stock market has been behaving lately, with stocks moving up or down in industry-sized groupings, investors have been reacting en masse to the latest news out of Washington.
A lot depends a lot on how fast Washington can actually pass the stimulus bill that it's (supposedly) already agreed to. The faster they get the job done, the more certain it should be that these three stocks will hold onto their gains.