The 5 Best Stocks (And 5 Worst) of the Coronavirus Correction

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the equity market.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: Traders work on the floor of the New york Stock Exchange on February 28, 2020 in New York City. Markets continued their downward plunge Friday as continuing fears
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the equity market. The S&P 500 lost nearly 13% from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28 – the fastest descent from all-time highs into correction territory in market history.

Virtually all stocks have been affected by the growing scare. The worst stocks of the correction so far have all been pummeled by issues stemming from coronavirus – in particular, from the resulting rout in oil prices. Most of the best stocks (a handful of companies that managed to finish in the black) delivered gains based on the revenue opportunity that COVID-19 potentially represents, though a couple benefited from completely unrelated good news.

To get a sense of what worked and what didn't, we screened the Russell 1000 Index, which includes the thousand largest companies on the U.S. equity market, for the best- and worst-performing stocks during the steep drawdown from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28. Both the Russell 1000 and S&P 500 lost 12.8% over that period – predictably, biotechnology, travel and energy stocks were well represented among the stocks with the biggest moves.

There were also a couple of pleasant surprises.

Have a look at the five worst and five best stocks coming out of the market's epic February plunge.

Data, provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, is as of Feb. 28.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is a financial writer at Kiplinger, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.


A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.


Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.


In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.


Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.


Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.