Moderna dominates Wall St trading ahead of S&P 500 debut

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Test tubes are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

July 20 (Reuters) - Moderna's (MRNA.O) stock dropped 2% in a volatile session on Tuesday, with the COVID-19 vaccine maker the most heavily traded company on Wall Street ahead of its debut in the S&P 500 on Wednesday.

Over $34 billion worth of the company's shares were exchanged, 17 times more than Moderna's $2 billion average over the past six months, according to Refinitiv data. About $10 billion worth of those trades happened in the final seconds of the session.

Apple (AAPL.O) was second-busiest stock, with about $14 billion worth of its shares traded.

After the bell, Moderna dropped an additional 1%, also in heavy volume.

Moderna joins the S&P 500 as of the start of trading on Wednesday. That means index funds managing over $5 trillion will have to have bought about 17% of the company's stock, according to Howard Silverblatt, a senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Moderna's inclusion in the index also means that actively managed funds that measure their performance against the S&P 500 are more likely to consider buying its shares.

During Tuesday's session, Moderna surged as much as 9% and fell as much as 7%. The stock has gained about 18% since July 15, when S&P Dow Jones Indices announced its addition to the S&P 500. read more

The latest volatility in Moderna's stock comes as concerns increase over the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, now responsible for the majority of new infections. Fears about a resurgence in the virus slammed Wall Street on Monday.

Fueled by the success of its COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna's stock has rallied almost 200% so far in 2021.

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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