On Monday, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) followed in the footsteps of rival Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), announcing that despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) permitting cruise lines to resume sailing in November, Norwegian will in fact delay any resumption of operations by another month. The company says it won't set sail from U.S. ports before December.
This news cost Norwegian stock a couple of percentage points yesterday, but today the shares are taking back those losses -- and more. In fact, Norwegian isn't alone in being up today (6.6% as of 10:50 a.m. EDT). Carnival is up nearly as much (6.4%), and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) is rising even more -- up 6.8%.
The question is, why?
There may be any number of answers. Investors could be simply relieved to see President Donald Trump back in the White House, apparently recovered from his bout of COVID-19 in record time, and encouraging Americans to not be fearful of the disease:
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
He reiterated his messaging this morning about not being fearful of the coronavirus, calling to keep the country open:
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
Not everyone is happy with these tweets, pointing out that most Americans don't have a team of medical experts at their beck and call, free of charge, to help them through an infection if they contract COVID-19. But the president, having suffered the highest-profile case of the disease in the world, did just survive it.
I can imagine how that might have bucked up hopes for some cruise stock investors.
Meanwhile, another Donald -- Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald -- was out and about this morning. Speaking at a virtual panel discussion, Donald assured investors that he's in constant dialogue with both the rest of the cruise industry and the White House about when and how to resume cruising, reports Cruise Industry News. At that same discussion, Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain was quoted saying that he, for one, remains very optimistic that cruising will in fact resume later this year.
If you'll pardon the term, this optimism seems to be infectious.
Although there appear to still be no hard and fast dates for when the cruise industry will resume activity, the combination of Norwegian saying it might start sailing in December, Royal Caribbean planning to start up again at least by then, Carnival at least hinting that Miami and Port Canaveral cruises could also resume out of Florida this year -- all in line with a CDC that's saying this is fine with it, as its no-sail order will have expired by then -- has cruise investors feeling optimistic again today.