Stocks Slide After Merck CEO Casts Doubt On Hope-Filled Vaccine Timeline

Having shrugged off the disappointing news that Remdesivir's efficacy is "statistically insignificant," the market soared overnight clinging to more vaccine 'holy grail' hopes from Merck. 

However, The FT is now reporting that Merck chief executive Ken Frazier has cast doubt on the 12 to 18-month timeframe to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine, describing the widely-mooted schedule as “very aggressive”.

“It is not something I would put out there that I would want to hold Merck to,” the US pharmaceutical group’s boss told the Financial Times, adding that vaccines should be tested in “very large” clinical trials that take several months if not years to complete.

“You want to make sure that when you put a vaccine into millions if not billions of people, it is safe,” he said.

This took the shine off the market, modestly...

Shifting S&P Futs back to 3,000. But, of course, there will be another vaccine hope tomorrow to lift things ever higher.