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Moderna gets the ultimate Wall Street validation: It’s being added to the S&P 500

S&P made the announcement late Thursday, and shares of Moderna (MRNA) surged 7% Friday morning in premarket trading on the news. The stock is now up nearly 170% this year, giving Moderna a market valuation of more than $100 billion.

Moderna’s addition to the S&P 500 means that the scores of passively managed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that mirror the S&P 500 will need to add the company’s stock to their portfolios. That’s a key reason that the stock was popping Friday.

Moderna will take the place of drug maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which is in the process of being acquired by Big Pharma giant AstraZeneca.

S&P said the index change will take effect before the market opens next Wednesday.

Moderna makes one of the three coronavirus vaccines that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) also make a two-dose vaccine similar to Moderna’s, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) offers a single-dose Covid shot.

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