As a company, if the need for your latest and highest-profile product is declining rapidly, some investors are likely to bail.
That dynamic was very much in force with Novavax (NVAX 4.70%) stock on Monday, and to a lesser extent with its healthcare industry peer Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.72%) following President Joe Biden's remarks on the coronavirus pandemic during a TV interview. The former's share price cratered by almost 7%, while the latter's slipped by nearly 1%.
The president was interviewed on the show 60 Minutes on Sunday. Reporter Scott Pelley asked him directly if the pandemic was at an end, and Biden responded in the affirmative.
"The pandemic is over," the president said. "We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it. It's ... but the pandemic is over. if you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape."
Although he was simultaneously claiming the global health scourge was still a problem and it was finished, his remarks underscore the latest developments. According to the latest statistics compiled by The New York Times, over the past 14 days the number of cases has fallen by a steep 29%, with a 12% fall in hospitalizations and a 6% decline in deaths.
This emphatic reminder that the coronavirus is (hopefully) continuing to fade affects Novavax much more sharply than it does Johnson & Johnson. That's because the former's fortunes are more dependent on its coronavirus jab (the protein-based Nuvaxovid) than those of the latter, as it's a far smaller, less extensive, and much younger company than its healthcare industry peer.
Additionally, of the four vaccines that have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, Nuvaxovid is the last to receive its green light.