It will remain a task for future historians to trace all the longterm effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for some of the world’s biggest corporations, the short term effects could not be clearer. The last two years have seen several of the largest publicly-traded companies in America rise to even greater heights.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, public companies have made just under $26.4 trillion in market capitalization gains. Out of this total, the ten biggest companies increased their market capitalization by $7.9 trillion, or approximately 30%. Big technology firms like Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Tesla have done especially well.
Apple, for example, saw its market cap grow from $1 trillion to $2.7 trillion from March 16, 2020 to Nov. 30, 2021. Microsoft went from $1 trillion to $2.4 trillion. Tesla saw a meteoric rise in market cap from $741 billion to $1.88 trillion which made its founder Elon Musk one of the richest men in the world.
With more people living, working, and learning entirely within the confines of their homes, companies grounded in digital technology have naturally navigated the uncertainties of the last two years much more effectively. The lockdowns also directly facilitated the growth of companies like Zoom and Peloton, which have become perhaps unexpectedly household names. Zoom did very well, more than doubling its market cap from $30 billion to $63 billion.