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: Moderna set to join S&P 500, stock rallies 8%

Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company catapulted to fame after it produced a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, is set to join the S&P 500 index, a seal of approval that will put the stock in countless index-tracking and actively managed funds and retirement accounts.

Shares of Moderna
MRNA,
+5.28%

rallied 8% in the extended session Thursday after the announcement. The stock has gained 149% this year, compared with gains of 16% for the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.33%

in the same period.

Moderna will replace Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
ALXN,
-3.27%

at the opening on July 21, S&P Dow Jones Indices, the index manager, said in a statement.

Boston-area Moderna was a scrappy biotech startup relatively unknown before its successful COVID-19 vaccine, approved last year in the U.S. on an emergency basis for adults. The shot, like the one from Pfizer Inc.
PFE,
+0.35%
,
uses messenger-RNA technology. Both vaccines have shown efficacy of more than 90%.

AstraZeneca Plc.
AZN,
-4.75%
,
which also has developed a COVID-19 vaccine alongside Oxford University, is buying Alexion and the the $39 billion deal is expected to close soon. The companies announced the deal in December.

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