Purpose. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect that COVID-19 has on the performance of the stock market in emerging economies. The findings as a whole demonstrate that the stock market does not react significantly. We believe that the outcomes of this study provide knowledge that is useful for decision makers in financial markets and policy all around the globe. Methods. Data for 140 companies are obtained from the official websites of the companies listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine whether there was a significant difference before and after the pandemic era. In addition, the ARDL model was chosen because of the variable integration mix (order 0 and 1). Implications. Theoretically, it added to the information that was already available about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the performance of stock markets in emerging economies. In a purely practical way, it will help those in charge of making policies come up with plans to deal with things that cannot be predicted. Results. The findings of the analysis demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 52.85% reduction in the volatility of Pakistan’s net profit returns. The study shows a statistically insignificant negative association between the COVID-19 pandemic and Pakistan’s stock returns. The empirical results of ARDL models provide the first conclusion of the analysis, indicating that the number of long-term connections was greater than short-term connections. Conclusion. According to the findings of the research, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has a bigger impact on the financial performance of enterprises (both positively and negatively). Some companies are able to maintain their place in the market even if the bulk of the firms see their performance suffer during a pandemic. Originality. We are the first to use the ARDL model to evaluate the effect of the new COVID-19 pandemic on a stock market in a developing nation.