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: Cruise stocks extend big bounces after CDC’s COVID-19 program for cruise ships ends

Shares of cruise operators rallied Tuesday, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated it’s now up to the companies and travelers to worry about COVID-19 mitigation and safety.

The CDC said as of July 18, its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships “is no longer in effect.” And the CDC’s webpage where its cruise ship guidance and data on COVID illness and deaths on ships are posted “will no longer be updated.”

Shares of Carnival Corp.
CCL,
+7.10%

jumped 6.7% in midday trading Tuesday toward a three-week high. They have now soared 21% since closing at $8.49 on July 11, which was the lowest close since April 3, 2020. Many on Wall Street believe a bull market is defined as a rally of 20% or more off a bear-market low.

Royal Caribbean Group’s stock
RCL,
+5.97%

surged 5.8% Tuesday. It has now run up 16% amid a three-day win streak, which started after the stock closed July 14 at $31.28, the lowest price since April 6, 2020.

And Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. shares
NCLH,
+3.75%

climbed 3.2% Tuesday, and has advanced roughly 15% amid their own three-day win streak. The stock has gained 23% since it closed June 16 at $10.38, the lowest close since May 13, 2020.

The CDC said cruise operators will still have access to its guidance and mitigation tools, but they will now “manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs.” The national public health agency also said cruise travelers will continue to have access to “recommendations” about what they can do before, during and after cruises to help make their travels as safe as possible.

The CDC’s move comes as COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been trending higher in recent weeks as the BA.5 omicron subvariant becomes more dominant, and as many health experts express concern that another surge is on the horizon. Read more in MarketWatch’s “Coronavirus Update” column.

Over the past three months, shares of Carnival have dropped 48%, Royal Caribbean have slumped 57% and Norwegian Cruise Line have slid 42%, while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+2.14%

has declined 12%.

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