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Stocks are at all-time highs. Onetime pandemic-era winners are moving sharply in the other direction.

Why it matters: Stocks move for all types of reasons. But the declines reflect a shift that's sticking: At-home workouts and remote learning are out. Travel and gyms are in.

What's happening: "Folks are saying, 'Hey you know, I'm going back to the office two days a week, perhaps I should go back to my old gym routine,'" says Ross Klein, a fund manager at Changebridge Capital, which is invested in gym chain Planet Fitness.

What's new: As the world makes bigger reopening strides, stay-at-home companies are issuing fresh warnings that the good times are behind them. The former "losers" say recovery has arrived.

  • Take Peloton, which said last week the average number of times users work out with their at-home equipment each month fell again — a sign people are returning to gyms (or opting not to work out at all).
  • That same day, Planet Fitness reported the best quarterly member growth it's ever seen this time of year. Its stock hit a record high; Peloton's shed over a third of its value.

The bottom line: Investors are figuring out whether the lockdown winners will "have the sales in the future they had when people couldn't do anything else," says Cole Smead, a portfolio manager at Smead Capital Management.

  • Online education platform Chegg is among the latest to signal the answer is no: It warned sales will take a hit as students return to classrooms.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Companies give up on return-to-work

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In the 22 months since U.S. companies sent their workers home, they've collected droves of poll data, paid workplace consultants billions of dollars, and drafted plan after plan — but they still don't know much more about post-pandemic work than they did in March 2020.

Driving the news: The latest factor to foil every return-to-work plan is the arrival of the Omicron COVID variant.

Report: LGBTQ+ Afghans' lives "dramatically worsened" under Taliban rule

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this month. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

LGBTQ+ Afghans have been threatened, attacked and "faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety" since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, per a report published Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them," per a statement from study co-author J. Lester Feder.

3 hours ago - World

Canadian Indigenous group finds 93 suspected unmarked graves

A makeshift memorial honoring the 215 children whose remains were found in a mass grave in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, last May. Photo: Cole Burston/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous leaders in Canada's western province of British Columbia said Tuesday they believe they've found 93 unmarked graves near a former boarding school.

The big picture: Hundreds of mass graves have been found at the grounds of former residential schools for Indigenous children since last May, when the remains of 215 children were uncovered at one such site in B.C.