2 Cruise Stocks Getting Slammed on U.S. COVID-19 Warnings

CCL and RCL are both eyeing multi-year lows today

Lillian Currens
Mar 9, 2020 at 10:58 AM
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It's no secret the cruise line sector has taken a hit in recent weeks, with a slew of reports trickling in regarding coronavirus-related quarantines and cancellations. Two stocks hit particularly hard are Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE:RCL), and this weekend's warning from U.S. health officials to avoid cruise ships altogether is certainly not helping matters. Below, we'll dig into how RCL and CCL are both faring today. 

This warning is compounded by news that ocean liner Princess Cruises, a unit of Carnival, is to be quarantined off its destination port after a COVID-19 outbreak was detected on board. In response, CCL is down 12.5% at $23.76 this morning, pacing for its third straight day in the red and its lowest close since 2009. Looking more broadly, CCL ran out of steam at its 320-day moving average late last year, and has since sold off sharply, down 52.1% in 2020. Plus, Carnival just came off its fourth weekly loss -- its longest skid since May 2019. 

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Cruises is very much in the same boat. The stock is currently trading at five-year lows, down 20.6% at $51.62, and eyeing its biggest one-day percentage drop since 2001. This comes just months after the equity touched a record high of $135.31 in late-January. For the year, RCL has lost over 60%. 

Short sellers would be cheering the cruise sector's selloff today, had RCL and CCL not both landed themselves on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list today. In the last two reporting period, short interest on RCL climbed 32.6%, while CCL saw an 18.2% pop in these pessimistic positions during the same time period. 

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