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Investors bet on a rapid vaccine rollout. That's now at risk

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.8%. 1 min read.

A man receives a dose of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination site at South Bronx Educational Campus, in the Bronx New York on January 10, 2021. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Faith in massive Covid-19 vaccination efforts has been a key reason stocks have kicked off 2021 by notching a string of record highs.

But early evidence shows that the vaccination drive in many countries is stumbling out of the gate, posing a risk to market expectations that the economy — and therefore corporate earnings — can rebound strongly after the first three months of the year.

US officials have struggled to explain why just 9 million people have received the first shot of their coronavirus vaccine when three times that number of doses have been distributed.

But for now, Wall Street should be watching the data closely, given how central vaccination is to its forecasts.

Watch this space: Distribution of vaccines in less developed countries also remains a huge question mark, complicating investor bets on strong rebounds in emerging markets.

"Though [the vaccine rollout] has given hope to the global recovery in the second half of the year, any positive effects will be felt predominantly in [developed markets]," Simon Macadam of Capital Economics told clients Tuesday.

The latest: News organizations including Reuters and the Wall Street Journal report that Biden will tap Gary Gensler to lead the agency.

Among the major Obama-era regulators, Gensler was the most aggressive in implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Wall Street opposed.

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