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5 Top Stock Gainers for Friday: Merck, Southwest Air, Pinterest

Merck, Southwest Airlines, Pinterest, SunPower and Luby's are five top stock gainers for Friday.

Stocks were mixed Friday following the worst month for tech stocks since the peak of the pandemic, amid positive news about a late-stage COVID-19 treatment.

Here are some of the top gainers Friday:

1. Merck | Increase 8%

Merck  (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report shares surged after the pharmaceutical company said its developing COVID-19 antiviral drug reduced the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients by as much as 50%. The company plans to seek emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Atea Pharmaceuticals  (AVIR) , which is also working on an oral antiviral medicine targeting Covid-19, jumped 22%.

2. Southwest Airlines | Increase 3.2%

Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Southwest Airlines Co. Report took off after JPMorgan analysts upgraded the carrier to overweight from neutral and boosted their price target to $70 from $64, saying the current rally for U.S. airlines "has room to run." Analyst Jamie Baker cited encouraging travel spending data, the recent planned relaxation of U.S. borders, and equity values that remain significantly below their vernal highs as reasons for optimism.

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3. Pinterest | Increase 4.3%

Pinterest  (PINS) - Get Pinterest, Inc. Class A Report climbed after RBC Capital analyst Brad Erickson initiated coverage of the image-sharing social media company with a sector perform rating and $58 price target. He said the company offers a "solid foothold" at the beginning of a users' inspiration / topical discovery journey and represents a "prudent play" of steadily ramping monetization through an ad platform and subsequently commerce. 

4. SunPower | Increase 12%

Shares of SunPower  (SPWR) - Get SunPower Corporation Report heated up following an announcement that the solar-power company will replace Cimarex Energy  (XEC) - Get Cimarex Energy Co. Report in the S&P MidCap 400, effective Oct. 5. Cabot Oil & Gas  (COG) - Get Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation Report is acquiring Cimarex Energy, a deal expected to close on Friday.

5. Luby's | Increase 11%

Luby's  (LUB) - Get Luby's, Inc. Report shares jumped after the restaurant chain, which had unveiled plans to liquidate last month, said it had completed the sale of 26 real estate properties to Store Capital for $88 million. Luby's, owner of such brands as Luby's Cafeterias and Fuddruckers Restaurants, said it used part of the proceeds from this sale and previous sales to repay its senior lender, MSD PCOF Partners VI LLC, in full.