Shares of Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR) jumped as much as 8.1% in trading Monday after relatively bullish statements about demand. Shares of the consumer discretionary stock were up 7.3% at 3:15 p.m. EDT and seemed to be holding their gains for the day.
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said today that the company has reopened all of its hotels in China and is starting to see demand pick up in the U.S. Occupancy in China is still only 40%, but that's up from 7% to 8% in February when the economy was shutting down there.
In the U.S., he said, hotels that are open are seeing occupancy pick up and have now passed 20% occupancy. In April, the company saw a 12% occupancy rate in North America, so the improvement is accelerating.
Occupancy below 50% isn't enough to sustain hotels, but trends are pointing in the right direction, and that was enough to push the stock higher today. China could be a preview of what happens in the U.S. because the economy is already opening up there and the U.S. is starting to ease restrictions brought on by COVID-19. For today, investors are betting on a Marriott recovery, but keep in mind that a spike in COVID-19 cases could derail the improvement we're seeing, so investors should expect volatility.