Shares of Ford Motor Company (F 3.12%) were up on Tuesday afternoon amid a broad-based rally, as new data made investors more optimistic about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses in the U.S.
As of 1:15 p.m. EDT, Ford's shares were up about 8.1% from Monday's closing price.
Ford's shares have been hit hard over the last month, for obvious reasons: The company's decision to close all of its factories in North America and Europe -- and several in other parts of the world -- leaves it with little revenue for the time being, while its costs remain substantial.
Ford has an ample cash hoard to get through the crisis, but that didn't stop credit-rating agencies from taking away the Blue Oval's hard-won investment-grade status. On the other hand, CEO Jim Hackett has been a bright spot for auto investors, making prudent decisions at a stressful time and keeping Ford's corporate morale up with his steady leadership.
Still, with Ford's dividend suspended for the time being, one of the most powerful bullish arguments for its stock is gone -- or at least on hold for the duration. But assuming that the U.S. and Europe can avoid economic disaster as the COVID-19 outbreak recedes, Ford will almost certainly be fine in the long run.
I think investors are tuning into that likelihood now, and scooping up Ford's shares while the discounted pricing lasts.
Ford has been good about keeping its investors and other stakeholders informed of its moves as the crisis has unfolded. We won't have to wait too long to hear much more directly from Hackett and his team -- Ford is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the market closes on April 28.