What happened

Shares of MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) jumped 19.4% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence . The e-commerce company's stock bounced back in last month's trading after falling 20.7% in March. 

MELI Chart

MELI data by YCharts

MercadoLibre's share price sank in March as concerns about the novel coronavirus prompted steep sell-offs across the market, but the e-commerce stock recovered as the market rebounded in April. The stock market remains volatile and there's still plenty of uncertainty on the horizon, but there are signs that many companies in the e-commerce space are benefiting from shifts in the retail climate created by the coronavirus crisis. 

A laptop and miniature packages with shopping-cart icons on them.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The Latin American e-commerce market is seeing increased momentum as brick-and-mortar stores have shut down in order to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

MercadoLibre chief operating officer Stelleo Tolda recently said that he sees the market conditions created by the novel coronavirus creating a tipping point for e-commerce adoption in Latin America, and he expects that online retail engagement in the region will now stabilize at a much higher level. 

Now what

MercadoLibre stock climbed 3.85% on May 1, trading even as the S&P 500's level dipped 2.8%. With the company scheduled to report first quarter results after the market closes on May 5, investors won't have to wait long for an influx of new, potentially market-moving business data. 

Compared to markets such as North America, Europe, and East Asia, Latin America has seen a relatively slow rate of adoption for online retail. The novel coronavirus' impact on the overall retail space will likely continue to accelerate the growth of e-commerce in the territory, and MercadoLibre could emerge as one of the prime beneficiaries of the trend. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.