Stocks

There was no hiding Monday for Nashville-area stocks as investors continued to assess the economic damage being done by the spread of the novel coronavirus and its associated COVID-19 illness.

After opening the day with a drop that triggered a 15-minute stop in trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index briefly recovered some ground to get to about a 5 percent drop on the day. But by the last hour of trading, the index’s losses were back to about 9 percent.

A host of public companies based in Middle Tennessee were headed for losses much larger than that. Among them:

• HCA Healthcare, until recently the region’s most valuable company — Dollar General now holds that title — was down 15 percent to about $88.50. A month ago, the hospital giant was changing hands at nearly $150.

• Brookdale Senior Living, which was down more than 31 percent to about $2.40. The company and its peers have been hit hard by investors worried about the relative vulnerability to COVID-19 of their customers. Brookdale shares were trading above $8 Feb. 19 after the company’s executives reported their fourth-quarter results.

• Also off more than 30 percent was Tivity Health, which runs the SilverSneakers senior fitness program and was losing chunks of its value even before COVID-19 began spreading as investors took stock of the company’s indigestion — and likely legal actions — stemming from the acquisition a year ago of weight-loss plan provider Nutrisystem.

Tivity on Monday also announced the two directors it is adding to its board per an agreement signed last month with activist investor HG Vora Capital Management. The duo are former Vestar Capital Partners principal Erin Russell and former Pinnacle Entertainment CEO Anthony Sanfilippo.

• Ryman Hospitality Properties, whose leader Colin Reed on Sunday said the company lost more than $90 million in revenues from booking cancelations last week. Ryman shares were down 28 percent to about $27.13 in late trading. A month ago, they were changing hands above $90.

• Surgery Partners stock was down about 23 percent in late trading, hurt by reports over the weekend of various hospitals and health systems ordering the delay of elective surgeries. The stock is down 70 percent over the past month.

• Other notable names down more than 15 percent included National Health Investors, Genesco, Change Healthcare, SmileDirectClub and Acadia Healthcare.

This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post

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