E Market Briefing For Wednesday, June 17

Progress on Covid-19 - definitely matters, although it was overly hyped by the Tuesday morning pundits, while some tried to temper the excess zeal. So now we have a breakthrough to reduce risk of death, low-cost and common, but only among the sickest patients, at least based on what Oxford says so far.

Executive summary:  

  • All schools closed in Beijing and Shanghai is barring most travelers from the capital, hence the COVID-19 cluster has become an outbreak and worsened just since yesterday.
  • The BBC emphasized the 'trial' of a steroid (and perhaps not the only one to help), reducing inflammation and enhancing recovery, it is not a 'miracle drug' or cure, and steroids have been used for months, although this matters as it singles-out one having quantified benefit, and reduces mortality risks.
  • So yes, the trial reduced COVID-19 mortality- for patients on ventilators, the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone steroid cut death risk from 40% to 28%.
  • For patients on O2, death risk cut from 25% to 20%. Modest, but best of all: costs <$10, which isn't relevant since it's only used during hospitalization so far, as the 'hyping crowd' omitted noting no effect if taken early-on, but we're optimistic this is part of the trend toward fighting COVID-19 by preventing and/or addressing inflammation, which is known to be the issue with ADRS.
  • By the way Amarin's Vascepa is also in a trial to reduce inflammation in a combination with other drugs to combat worst-case COVID-19 outcomes, these are generally the primary problem in COVID-19 (more on Amarin's settlement with one of the generics in the 'Daily Action' section below).
  • It is the focus on the relationship of COVID-19 to the stock market and economic ramifications as are ongoing, that helped enable much of this year's correct market assessments, both on the way down, and the dramatic recovery, so at the moment the US 'cavalier' attitude matters, so does China's outbreak.
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