This Could Be the “Perfect Storm” that Pushes Gold 
to a New Record High

Nearly 120 years ago, an American engineer named Willis Carrier invented the very first electrical air conditioner. The device was such a hit that he founded the Carrier Corporation in 1915 to meet demand, making it the world’s first HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) company.

Fast forward to today, and Carrier Global, as it’s now called, is one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world. Last year it did some $18.6 billion in sales, close to half of it overseas. The Florida-based company employs approximately 53,000 people across six continents.

The reason I bring up Carrier now—besides the fact that, this being July, most of you reading this likely have your air conditioners running full blast—is because the company was the best performing S&P 500 stock for the first six months of 2020, up 67.9 percent.

Carrier’s stellar price action should come as no surprise. With millions of people around the globe following stay-at-home orders, HVAC services have become a top priority. There are few things worse than being cooped up in a building with a busted air conditioner.

What’s more, the company offers a number of air filtration solutions for hospitals, malls and other indoor areas. Its OptiClean air scrubber features high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that pull the air in, remove contaminants and discharge the air back into the room cleaner than it was before.

“Coronavirus Stocks” Were Winners in H1 2020

The stay-at-home line of thinking doesn’t end at air conditioning, of course. In your head, list some other things you probably couldn’t have done without during lockdown.

Whatever product or service you name, there’s a fair chance that shares of the company or companies behind it also performed well in the first half of 2020. That includes disinfectant products (Clorox, up 45.3 percent in the six months ended June 30), home entertainment (Netflix and Activision Blizzard, up 42.1 percent and 29.7 percent), online retail (Amazon and eBay, up 49.4 percent and 47.7 percent) and—because restaurants were shut down—groceries (Kroger, up 17.7 percent).

These names are what some analysts have been referring to as “coronavirus stocks,” and they helped the market notch its best quarter in more than 20 years. The S&P 500 ended the June quarter up nearly 20 percent, the most since 1998.

S&P 500 notches its best quarterly performance since 1998
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