Illustration by Boris Ladwig

The value of the six largest publicly traded companies in Louisville, including Humana and Yum Brands, has fallen by more than $2 billion this week as investors are fleeing the stock market over trade worries.

Yum Brands’ market capitalization this week had declined about $840 million through 11 a.m. Thursday. Humana’s market cap was down nearly $800 million. Churchill Downs booked a decline of about $300 million, and the value of distiller Brown-Forman was down about $200 million. Texas Roadhouse and Papa John’s were down a combined $40 million.

The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all were down more than 1 percent at 11 a.m. Thursday, in the second day of declines over worries about an intensifying trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to $25%, up from the current 10%, at 12:01 a.m. Friday unless delegations from the U.S. and China reach a trade deal before then.

The countries are at odds “over U.S. allegations that China steals technology and pressures American companies into handing over trade secrets, part of an aggressive campaign to turn Chinese companies into world leaders in robotics, electric cars and other advanced industries,” according to The Associated Press.

Economists have said that the tariffs aren’t borne by Chinese producers, but primarily by U.S. consumers, as the tariffs typically are passed on through higher prices.

According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, consumers would start to see a bigger impact on their wallets if President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to institute tariffs on a broader range of Chinese-made products. The institute said that consumers likely would be paying more for products including “toys, footwear, clothing and electronics.”

While the market capitalization Humana, Yum Brands, Brown-Forman, Texas Roadhouse, Churchill Downs and Papa John’s declined this week, share prices of all of the companies except Humana and Texas Roadhouse are still up for the year.

Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.