Across America and around the world, the omicron coronavirus variant is in full swing, and we're not even done with the delta variant yet! Despite these continuing COVID-19 fears, though, investors seem no longer so panicked about the pandemic.
As of 12:45 p.m. ET Monday, shares of stocks that depend on a business model of gathering large groups of vacationers together in confined places are doing quite well, with hoteliers Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and Park Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:PK) up 10% and 10.1%, respectively, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) stock up 12.1%.
So what's going on with entertainment and tourism stocks today? According to a CNBC story on the phenomenon -- the 650 point jump in the Dow so far today -- investors are "looking past the omicron threat" and buying back shares of stocks "linked to the recovering economy."
As the news service points out, it's high-priced shares of tech stocks that are suffering worst of all in Monday trading, as investors come to grips with the idea that low interest rates won't last forever, and that as a result, inflation is going to eat up a lot of the future profits of tech companies that don't have much (or any) profit to begin with. In contrast, businesses that have proven they can be profitable in the past are expected to fare better in the future, just as soon as the pandemic is over with (whenever that might be).
But does this make sense? I mean, sure, intellectually we all know that the pandemic will end sometime -- pandemics always do. But right now, the world is running out of Greek letters to describe the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how fast its variants are mutating. Just because we all know that there exists an edge to this forest doesn't mean we're anywhere near out of the woods just yet.
To the contrary, New York City just mandated that all private sector workers must get two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and kids have to get it, too.
Meanwhile, all three of the stocks named above carry staggering debt burdens -- $4.9 billion at Park, $13.1 billion at Norwegian Cruise, and $14.5 billion at Las Vegas Sands -- and those burdens are only going to get heavier if interest rates rise.
After nearly two straight years of COVID, I certainly get investors wanting to reach a point at which they believe things will get better soon. I just personally don't believe things are getting better at this precise moment.