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Max Nisen

Moderna’s Covid Vaccine News Is Good. But Market-Moving Good?

Expanded trial results are promising, but there are a host of open questions about the vaccine's clinical and commercial potential.

Moderna’s vaccine? So far so good, but no guarantees.

Moderna’s vaccine? So far so good, but no guarantees.

Photographer: David L. Ryan/Boston Globe via Getty Images

About two months after Moderna Therapeutics Inc. released preliminary Covid-19 vaccine data that sent the stock market into a tizzy, the company published a complete look at the initial human trial of its drug late Tuesday — and it promptly moved the market again.

Moderna shares surged 20% on the results in after-market trading, and stocks in general got a lift as well. Is it warranted? For sure, the expanded results published in the New England Journal of Medicine contain good news about the vaccine's early attributes. However, they mainly put what the company revealed in its sparse May release on firmer footing instead of breaking swaths of new ground as one might expect from the reaction. In short, investors may be ahead of themselves.