Jul 22, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Pharmaceutical company Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -3.84% has joined the S&P 500 stock index.
The addition to the S&P 500, which is comprised of the 500 largest U.S. stocks by market capitalization, comes as the drugmaker transforms itself from an early-stage biotech firm to a vaccine maker supplying COVID-19 shots around the world.
And Moderna is now the best performing stock in the S&P 500 this year. With a gain of just over 207% so far in 2021, Moderna's share performance tops the index's existing leader, L Brands, which has risen 104% year to date.
In the runup to its inclusion in the U.S. benchmark, Moderna's stock has made fresh highs advancing more than 30% over four trading sessions. The shares are now at $321.11 U.S., giving the company a market capitalization of $129 billion U.S.
Moderna secured its place in the upper echelons of U.S. biotech companies after receiving emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccination last December.
Skeptics of Moderna's surge in recent months note that its pipeline is in the early stages of human testing while the market for COVID-19 booster shots isn't fully understood.
Still, recent lab results show Moderna's vaccine produces antibodies against the COVID-19 Delta variant. Analysts at Goldman Sachs predict Moderna could have a new flu shot on the market by 2023 and a combination of a flu and COVID-19 vaccine as soon as 2024.
The company also is working on new vaccines and medicines for cancer and HIV, as well as Zika and heart disease.
Is there a problem with this press release? Contact the source provider Comtex at email@example.com. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.