What happened

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) stumbled out of the gate when the markets opened Monday, falling 2% as the indexes also dropped to start the week.

While the indexes retraced their steps to breakeven at midday, the home goods retailer zipped past them, and its stock is now almost 5% higher, a near-10% round trip.

Women looking at pillows

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors seemed concerned at the outset that the economy might take longer to heal than expected, particularly after Berkshire Hathaway reported a $50 billion loss and Warren Buffett sold all his airline stock.

Equally troubling is the mounting evidence that the coronavirus pandemic started in a lab in the Wuhan region of China, for which the U.S. is promising China will be held accountable. That raised the specter of a return to the trade war, which damaged Bed Bath & Beyond along with its own ineptitude.

Now what

The turnaround in the retailer's stock today may have more to do with the immediate concern of getting the U.S. economy open again.

More states are allowing businesses to reopen, and the hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us seems strong. Bed Bath & Beyond has seen strong online sales during the COVID-19 outbreak, and it has begun bringing workers back. With its doors on the cusp of reopening, the retailer may be ready to put its turnaround plans to the test.

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.