Evercore's latest COVID coverage noted that vaccine sentiment reached a several month low, so we explored further on this development using our COVID Dashboard to uncover two themes driving the drop. We also look at the combined sentiment of the three companies that are on the front lines of vaccine development: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Sam Leavitt
January 5, 2021

Vaccine Sentiment Diverges on News and Financials

Vaccine Sentiment Diverges on News and Financials

As we begin 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is top of mind for everyone. Since the onset of COVID we have been working with Evercore to leverage our natural language processing technology on news to gauge vaccine sentiment in real-time. When coupled with Evercore’s analyst work on equities likely to benefit from the vaccine, these signals have helped us understand where we are and where we might be going.

Yesterday Evercore released the latest update using our news sentiment signal. Evercore noted that sentiment around the vaccine had hit a several month low. We explore further, by going into the Amenity COVID Dashboard where we can see that sentiment is driven by concerns over the vaccine rollout and an increasingly vocal population of people who are hesitant to take the vaccine.

Evercore: News Sentiment Towards COVID Vaccine

However, conversations with experts suggest that these fears might be overblown. If there is indeed a divergence between negative vaccine sentiment and positive expert forecasts, Evercore recommends that investors look for opportunities and highlights a group of equities in their Recovery Watchlist.

A Closer Look at the Vaccine Developers

Complementing the Amenity Vaccine Sentiment data that Evercore analyzed, we leveraged our COVID company sentiment tracker to focus on the three companies that are on the front lines of vaccine development: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Combined Coronavirus Sentiment for Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca

We can see from our data in the past two weeks the combined sentiment for the three major firms actually decreased from a score of 37 to 13.8 (see here to learn how we calculate sentiment scores). The decrease in sentiment is contrary to the momentum and success of the vaccine rollout. While there are new strains of COVID, health professionals say there is little evidence to suggest that they are resistant to the vaccines. Experts have said that the mutation is taken into account and have built this into the vaccine response. On USA Today Melissa Nolan, an Infectious Disease expert said, “These changes in viral composition are expected, at the moment we have not seen any dramatic genetic shifts of concern.”

Perhaps, the recent dip in the performance of these stocks underscores that investors share the Media’s negative bias towards the vaccine. While Moderna’s stock (MRNA) has been up 49% over the past 3 months and Pfizer (PFE) up 4.9% over the same period, in recent weeks both stocks have traded off considerably. Evercore recently posits that now is the time to buy into a market dip, as reactionary reporting has skewed sentiment away from what is in reality a bright, long term outlook for the vaccines and the overall economy.

With not one, but three vaccines so far to combat the virus, experts are urging vigilance not panic. People should continue to practice social distancing and take precautions as the vaccine rolls out. However, this is a time for optimism as increased efforts by healthcare workers and government officials are bringing us closer to a post pandemic reality with each passing day.

To learn more about our Vaccine sentiment time series, COVID Company dashboard, or our comprehensive ESG products please reach out. Additionally, keep an eye out for our COVID 2020 retrospective blog post later this week!

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About Amenity

Amenity Analytics is the industry leader in providing insights from unstructured text by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) assisted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Amenity’s NLP system is a sector-agnostic, language-dependent tool for quantitative text analysis that is deployed across the financial services industry and beyond.

This communication does not represent investment advice. Transcript text provided by FACTSET and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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