What happened

Shares of Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) slid 5% in morning trading Thursday as fear of a second wave of COVID-19 cases weighed on the market.

So what

While the motorcycle company had opened almost 10% down, the decline in the stock represents the worry that a new coronavirus outbreak could set back the economy just as it is beginning to reopen.

Harley-Davidson was already having trouble selling motorcycles when the economy was doing well, but the lockdown on business has likely turned off the spigot on almost all sales this quarter.

Man riding LiveWire electric motorcycle

Image source: Harley-Davidson.

Now what

The bike maker's stock has rallied some 75% from the lows it hit in March when the pandemic was declared, even though there is little more at this point than hope that new CEO Jochen Zeitz can turn the company around.

The 57% decline in the stock to under $15 a share following the outbreak may have been overdone, but consumers have failed to buy Harleys for five straight years. It's not unwarranted to think any growth might be wiped out in a pandemic.

The rebound in the shares is based on an as-yet-undefined plan to reboot its turnaround strategy, which may be giving Harley-Davidson too much credit at this point. Investors taking profits now is not a surprise.

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