Are We Seeing Irrational Exuberance Over COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine News?

Stocks rise steeply on good news about mRNA vaccines.


The Dow Jones surged 900 points today in response to positive news about a coronavirus candidate vaccine being developed by Moderna Therapeutics. Early this morning, the company reported that eight patients in a phase 1 safety trial of its vaccine generated neutralizing antibodies to the virus comparable to the levels found in people who had recovered from infection. Basically, the vaccine produces an immune response equal to that provoked by natural infection with the virus.

Moderna's vaccine is based on a synthetic version of the messenger RNA (mRNA) that the coronavirus uses to construct the proteins that enable it to infect human cells. The injected mRNA tricks the body into making some of the viral proteins that then induce the immune system to produce antibodies in response to them. Antibodies bind themselves onto attacking viruses and bacteria, disabling them or marking them for death by other parts of the immune system, like the cell-devouring macrophages.

Moderna is not alone in pursuing an mRNA vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus. Its announced success enhances the prospect that other mRNA vaccine manufacturers could also do well. For example, Pfizer has teamed up with with the German company BioNTech to develop four different coronavirus mRNA vaccines. Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in the U.S. designed to determine the safety, immunogenicity, and optimal dose level of the four vaccine candidates were launched earlier this month. And another German company, CureVac, plans to initiate phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for its mRNA coronavirus vaccine in June.

The promise of mRNA vaccines is that they are faster, cheaper, and safer to produce than are conventional vaccines. Conventional vaccines are finicky to make. Manufacturers have to figure out how to grow viruses in eggs or mammalian cells, purify and weaken them so that they don't cause infection when injected, and then scale up production to make millions of doses. This can take years to achieve.

In contrast, templates for the production of the synthetic viral mRNA to be used in a vaccine can be quickly developed and scaled up with relative ease. Moderna announced that it has partnered with Switzerland-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Lonza with the goal of producing a billion doses per year of its coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer and BioNTech are also scaling up to produce millions of vaccine doses by October 2020, increasing to hundreds of millions in 2021. And CureVac says that its manufacturing facility can potentially supply several hundred million doses per year.

Despite all the excitement, keep in mind that no mRNA vaccines have ever been deployed. Nevertheless, investors apparently believe (at least for today) that the mRNA technology will work and that vaccines against the coronavirus scourge will be forthcoming sooner rather than later. Let's hope that this run-up in stock prices turns out to be an example of rational exuberance.

NEXT: Is the Stock Market's Response to COVID-19 Optimistic or Just Plain Nuts?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I guess some writers missed out on the rise. Lol.

    1. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me• I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month••• The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start••• This is where to start… Read Details Articles

  2. The term “irrational exuberance” became a things when Alan Greenspan used it to describe what came to be known as “the dot-come bubble” back in 1996.

    The stock market continued to soar for another three years. Any mainline fund that listened to Greenspan and refused to buy or hold the basket of stocks he described as “irrationally exuberant” lost their customers or their jobs–for refusing to participate in one of the fastest and highest moving stock markets in history.

    We might also add that some of the worst of the “burst” in that period seems to have coincided with the accounting scandals. The markets hate uncertainty, and when they couldn’t trust the numbers they were seeing, it became harder to assess and take on the risks associated, especially, with up and coming companies.

    We’re in the same boat today. Over the short term (seconds), stock prices reflect supply and demand among bids and asks. Over the long term (anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter or two quarters out), stock prices are a function of their anticipated earnings. If the market doesn’t know if the vaccine is coming in one quarter, two quarters, or three quarters, then that kind of uncertainty keeps cash on the sidelines and waiting for more information.

    If I learn that the vaccine is coming in two or three quarters rather than some unknown quantity, the whole index is definitely worth more than it was the day before. Time is so crucial to finance. It didn’t matter that Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers bought mortgage backed securities out of bankruptcy court for pennies on the dollar compared to what those homes were worth. They couldn’t realize that value in less than two years time from when they bought them, so both entities disappeared.

    Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel is only three quarters instead of four making such a huge difference isn’t necessarily irrational.

    1. Sarah Paul Walker, Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me• I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month••• The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start•••

      This is where to start… For More Detail

  3. The exuberance is from colorado finally stating what everyone knew… the body count is bullshit. Shaved 23% off their numbers by changing count to “died of” (still not even capping it to only tested) instead of “died with. ”

    Realize that without the nursing home apocalypse of various blue states feeding the covid 1984 virus into nursing homes and you begin to understand why some of us never freaked out.

    1. Sarah Paul Walker, Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me• LMS I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month••• The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start•••

      This is where to start… For More Detail

  4. “Are We Seeing Irrational Exuberance Over COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine News?”

    Are we seeing irrational pessimism over Covid because EVERY FUCKING INFECTION is reported by 100 media outlets 24/7?

    1. “If it bleeds it leads”

      Same as always, Peanut.

      1. This is the comment I missed. Peanut. Lol.

      2. “Unless it’s in Chicago.”

  5. At this time, the Dow Jones gaining (or losing) 900 points cannot be attributed to one or a few factors, because the entirety of effects brought by this pandemic and aggregate responses are still unknown.

    I doubt that hope in a vaccine caused the stock market to have a one day jump. It’s a pretty narrative, but it relies on a story where they may not be one.

  6. It’s more about risk and reward. They see more and more people are willing to take a risk of getting out and about which justifies the stock price. Buy on the rumor sell on the news. We’ve probably had all the corrections the market can stand for now. There could be more this fall who knows.

    Meanwhile, the far left and their boot lickers in government and media are still hoping you’ll stay scared and quiet.

    1. “the far left”

      Do you mean The Con Man’s $2.7 trillion welfare handout?

      GOP = Enablers of welfare/handouts!

      I got our $2400 check! Last one before that was Bush’s $600 handout!

      Obama = no handout!

      Goddammit Peanuts! The fucking Democrat didn’t send you a fucking dime in handouts! No wonder you like the GOP!

      1. Say what you want about Trump, but his first idea was a tax holiday, not “free” cash to every man, woman, and child you lying sack of shit.

        1. A tax holiday would have been just fine.

          But instead he folded like a cheap feminine napkin and signed off on $2.7 trillion in welfare.

          Some “libertarian” – what a fucking joke that is.

          1. It’s like you are incapable of education. What were the vote totals on said Bill’s? Just fucking learn how government works.

            1. Trump is the fucking president, you ignoramus. His vote squashes all the others. Ever hear of a “veto”?

              Veto, you GOP lickspittle, look up the meaning.

              1. We know you wish Trump would veto a veto-proof bill so he could get blamed by your democrat propagandist media for a week for making people die of starvation.

                And so does he. Because he’s smarter than you and it drives you insane. Literally.

                1. If Trump had vetoed it, shriek would have been here endlessly crowing about how The Dotard was condemning millions to death and poverty.

                  1. Immensely less political risk in “he’s bankrupting our country!” Vs “He wants people to die!”

        2. Trump’s tax holiday would have benefited only those individuals and businesses who still had a substantial income – that is, those whose jobs were unaffected by the virus, and those who were “distressed” only by being reduced from extremely rich to merely rich. It sounded like the idea of an arrogant silver spoon with no understanding that there are people out there who don’t have inherited wealth to live off of.

      2. “The fucking Democrat didn’t send you a fucking dime in handouts!”

        Where do spending bills originate again?

  7. Are We Seeing More Speculation Over Causality In The Financial Markets?

    Until you’ve spoken to all the buyers, don’t try to tell me why the market went up or down.

    1. Just a random walk today?

      1. The day was an ordinary day. The milk came at seven and the papers at seven thirty. Clocks ticked and things hung normally in closets.
        “How Much a Pound is Albatross?”

  8. Trump wants you Peanuts to buy his fake-ass 1950s malaria drug he just endorsed on Fox News!

    Because, you know, Trump-tards are stupid and will believe him.

    1. In 2005 this research paper was published:
      “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”[1]
      Then in 2010 this paper was published:
      “Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture”[2]
      Finally in 2014 this paper was published that possibly explains [1] because of [2]:
      “Chloroquine Is a Zinc Ionophore” [3]

      (I’ve elided the URL links in this posting because I don’t know if or when my original post will ever exit moderation. A web search of the article titles should find the original articles or their abstracts.)
      [1] …
      [2] …
      [3] …


      1. Don’t waste your time, it’s a Democrat shill that wouldn’t know facts if they bit him on the ass.

  9. Attorney General William Barr on Monday issued an apparent rebuke of President Donald Trump’s efforts in recent weeks to hatch vague accusations of misconduct by former Obama administration officials — all while lamenting Trump’s treatment by federal law enforcement officers during the wide-ranging Russia probe. (Politico)

    “Obamagate” rebuked by Trump’s legal butt-boy! Peanuts duped again by a fake scandal!


    1. Believe absurdities, commit atrocities.

    2. “BENGHAZI!!!!!!”

      This one always cracks me up the most. I watched all the Sunday news shows when convenient on a Sunday morning for most of my adult life up until this. Probably averaged 1-2 Sunday’s a month.

      I happened to be watching the Sunday Susan rice went on all those shows and lied about what happened. I remember thinking it sounded like bullshit at the time, but I attributed it to the administration just being overly PC about Muslims. Then the poor sucker that made the YouTube video got thrown in a cage.

      1. Shriek will be back to tell you that never happened.

      2. Obama should have been impeached for political persecution of his own constituency and violating 1A.

  10. Market Rose on J.Powell’s statements, more so.

    1. Even with your obvious pay cut, media matters isn’t getting their money’s worth with this pathetic post.

  11. What’s with the Debbie Downerism from Ron?

    Isn’t he usually the first to get all gungho over new tech?

    1. Orangemanbad + he’s been getting his ass handed to him in the comments the last few weeks

    2. It’s weird it’s presented as an article about the stock market, but it’s really a science article.

      Ron just wanted someone to respond “markets imploding” to one of his articles so he could feel closer to Boehm.

  12. Are we seeing irrational _____ over carona virus? “. The answer is always yes

    1. Even if the blank is “progressives thinking they shouldn’t be fed into a wood chipper”

  13. Are We Seeing Irrational Exuberance Over COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine News?

    Yes! Because Fish Tank Boy strikes again!

  14. The markets are responding because they want to. Investors are going to respond to any ray of hope.

  15. thanks for this amazing information. I really liked it. Here is complete detail for USPS service of the USA which used to delivered parcel and mails all over the USA.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.