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Images: Getty

The re-opening trade took a breather today as investors responded to the FDA recommendation of an immediate halt of Johnson & Johnson vaccinations.

Why it matters: Despite recent market highs and optimism around the economic recovery, investors are still most sensitive to the underlying health story of getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

On our radar:

  • Shares of "let's go outside" companies Dine Brands Global (Applebee's owner) and American Airlines moved lower by 2.9% and 1.5% respectively.
  • Meanwhile, "better stay inside longer" plays such as Zoom and Peloton saw their share prices up higher by more than 6.6% and 2.8% respectively.
  • J&J's stock price fell by more than 1%, helping to pull the Dow lower on the day.

What they're saying: Jason Ware, Chief Investment Officer of Albion Financial, tells Axios why the level of market reaction was measured.

  • "Investors are thinking about the J&J news primarily in two ways: 1) it's a very small number of folks who have experienced these clots out of [about 7 million] people who have received the vaccine; and 2) even if the pause goes on for a while, or worst case it's taken off the market, the U.S. will have more than enough doses of the highly effective and safe 'mRNA champions' – Pfizer and Moderna," Ware says.
  • Navin Jacob, a healthcare analyst at UBS, writes in a note: "The imperfect safety of [Johnson & Johnson] may ultimately be cleared by the regulators as worth the risk (given the severity of Covid-19) if the rates do not increase and a full vetting has occurred."

Go deeper

Apr 13, 2021 - Health

White House says J&J pause will not have "significant impact" on vaccination plan

Biden at the White Houe on April 6. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said Tuesday that the FDA's recommendation that the U.S. pause use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine "will not have a significant impact" on the administration's vaccination plans.

Why it matters: The Biden administration says it has secured enough Moderna and Pfizer doses for 300 million Americans. The U.S. will be able to continue administering 3 million vaccine doses a day even without the Johnson & Johnson shot, according to the White House.

Apr 13, 2021 - Health

New York to replace today's J&J vaccine appointments with Pfizer

A box of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses at Grubb's Pharmacy on Capitol Hill on April 12. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

New York will replace Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines with the Pfizer vaccine for appointments scheduled for Tuesday, New York's health commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement.

Why it matters: The FDA, out of "an abundance of caution," recommended on Tuesday an immediate pause of the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, citing cases of a rare blood clot disorder that six women developed within two weeks after receiving the shot.

Updated Apr 13, 2021 - Health

FDA expects J&J vaccine pause to last "a matter of days"

Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

The U.S. FDA on Tuesday recommended an immediate halt of the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, citing cases of a rare blood clot disorder that six women developed within two weeks of receiving the shot.

The latest: Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a briefing that she expects the pause to only last "a matter of days," as health officials investigate the data surrounding the "extremely rare" blood clots.