What happened

On Monday, investors sold off many stocks that performed well during the early stages of the pandemic, following encouraging news about a new antiviral drug for COVID-19 late last week. 

Here's how some of the most popular of these stocks performed today:

  • Salesforce.com (CRM -0.71%), down 1.6%
  • Shopify (SHOP -1.07%), down 2.6%
  • Amazon (AMZN -0.36%), down 2.9%
  • Zoom Video Communications (ZM -1.69%), down 3%
  • Peloton Interactive (PTON -5.43%), down 5%
  • Roku (ROKU -0.52%), down 5.6%
  • Pinterest (PINS), down 5.7% 

So what

On Friday, Merck (MRK -2.29%) shared interim data from a phase 3 study that suggested its experimental oral antiviral treatment could reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 50% for patients with mild or moderate cases of COVID. The drugmaker said it plans to request Emergency Use Authorization for the drug from the Food and Drug Administration "as soon as possible." 

A digital chart is displaying declining stock prices.

Image source: Getty Images.

The news prompted many investors to rotate out of so-called stay-at-home stocks and into businesses that could benefit the most should the pandemic come to an end sooner than expected.

Now what 

It's true that some stay-at-home winners will likely see their growth rates slow as the economy reopens. For example, Peloton could see sales of home-based exercise equipment moderate as people return to gyms. Zoom might also find it harder to market its cloud-based communication tools. And Pinterest could face challenges growing its user base if people spend less time online.

Yet the impact to companies like Salesforce and Roku may be less severe. Even as their employees return to traditional offices, Salesforce should continue to enjoy robust demand for its software solutions as businesses further their shift to the cloud. And while people may spend less time watching television as they return to more outdoor activities, the shift toward connected TV should continue to fuel the growth of Roku's booming advertising business.

Investors may also be overstating the risk to Amazon and Shopify. E-commerce growth might slow as consumers return to stores in the coming months, but more retail sales are still likely to migrate to online channels in the decade ahead. 

Thus, patient investors may want to consider using this sell-off as an opportunity to scoop up some shares of Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, and Roku, particularly if their stock prices decline further in the coming days.