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CRE Resilient During Week's Market Whipsaw

Investors seemed to have the pre-election jitters this week, with equity markets crashing on Wednesday the most since June, with modest upticks on Thursday. Commercial real estate stocks, on the other hand, seemed less impacted by Wednesday's turmoil and were also up on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943.24 points, or 3.4%, which was its fourth straight daily drop. On Thursday, it rose 139.16 points or 0.52%. The S&P 500 dropped 3.53% on Wednesday and rose 1.19% the next day, while the Nasdaq fell 3.73% on Wednesday, but recouped 1.64% on Thursday.


The FTSE Nareit All REITs index fell on Wednesday by 2.4% and rose 1.22% on Thursday. Individual REIT stocks showed more variation in their movement over the last two days.

Compared with the drop in REIT share prices at the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns in March, this week's drops were even more modest: The FTSE Nareit All REITs index alone dropped by 9.42% on March 12.

A number of factors have been cited for the more recent sudden drops in stock prices, including spikes in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and the possibility of civil unrest in the wake of next week's elections.

“I think there’s going to be a call for lockdowns the likes of which we’ve seen in Chicago,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday. “The lockdowns without the stimulus equals what we’re seeing.”

The Thursday upticks might have been driven by the Bureau of Economic Analysis reporting that the U.S. economy bounced back somewhat during the third quarter from its crating in the second quarter. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 33.1% in Q3, a spike that recouped roughly two-thirds of the annualized loss in Q2 of 31.4%.


CBRE had an unusually strong run, rising from its Wednesday low of $43.52/share to $51.30/share on Thursday, after beating earnings predictions and announcing that it is moving to Dallas from Los Angeles.

Cushman & Wakefield dropped from $11.41/share to $10.87/share on Wednesday, but it regained ground the next day, ending at $11.86/share. JLL fell from $105.86/share to $101.71/share on Wednesday, but it made a strong recovery the next day, finishing Thursday at $113.10/share. Newmark Group also rose higher on Thursday, beginning at $4.58/share, and pausing briefly at $4.34/share before closing at $4.71/share.

Even beleaguered retail giant Simon Property Group had a good two-day run, beginning Wednesday at $61.97/share, dropping to $60.76/share by the end of the day, and ending Thursday at $63.41/share. Another retail specialist, Macerich, dropped from $6.94/share at the beginning of Wednesday to $6.53/share by the end of the day. Its price finished Thursday at $6.82/share. 

In the hard-hit hotel and entertainment sector, MGM Resorts International held its own, falling from $21.04/share to $20.11/share on Wednesday, but rising to $21.29/share by the end of Thursday. Host Hotels & Resorts dropped on Wednesday from $10.86/share to $10.46/share but didn't recover much the next day, ending Thursday at $10.52/share.

The diversified Brookfield Property Partners started Wednesday at $13.86/share, edged down to $13.65/share that day, and recovered to $14.19/share on Thursday. Major investor Blackstone Group declined from $51.87/share to $50.30/share on Wednesday, and it recovered somewhat to $50.99/share on Thursday. 

Office specialist Cousins Properties fell from $25.69/share on Wednesday to $24.65/share, but ended Thursday almost exactly where it started, at $25.70/share.

In the relatively strong industrial sector, Duke Realty Corp. edged down on Wednesday from $37.74/share to $37.23/share, but it was back up to $37.83/share by the end of Thursday. Likewise, Prologis decreased on Wednesday from $99.16/share to $97.58/share but bounced back to $100.18/share on Thursday. 

In the multifamily sector, AvalonBay Communities fell from $139.89/share to $132.78/share on Wednesday, but it didn't recover fully on Thursday, ending at $136.13/share. Equity Residential declined from $49.70/share to $46.24/share on Wednesday, then barely budged, ending Thursday at $46.26/share.