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Following the euphoria triggered by yesterday’s Federal news, the S&P 500 index futures continued to rally after Wednesday’s close. While the overnight rally hinted at an extension of gains, premarket trading painted a different picture as the index flirted with the 5300 mark, testing the resolve of the bulls.

As the opening bell rang, traders were met with a flurry of activity, indicative of a market grappling with its new all-time highs. Among economic news, S&P flash US services PMI and manufacturing PMI for March came in slightly below expectations at 51.7 and manufacturing PMI for March came in above expectations at 52.5. Both numbers, released at 9:45am EST, indicate slow growth for the economy and did little to dampen the morning’s chop.

The opening high was tested for the rest of the morning, until bulls tried a rally during the lunch hour, which ultimately failed. From that point, the bears ruled the action that followed the failed breakout, taking the index futures back to test the premarket lows.

During the neverending earnings season, stocks like KB Home and Micron Technology leaped on positive earnings overnight, but were sold off during today’s regular session. Yet, it was Apple Inc.’s woes, courtesy of a DOJ antitrust lawsuit announcement, that cast the largest shadow over the index (more below).

Closing just shy of the lows, the index still managed to etch a new all-time closing high at 5302.50, up by 15.75 handles.

Among the top components of the index, Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ: AVGO) emerged as the biggest gainer for the second day in a row. The issue was able to advance by $72.00 or 5.64% to close at $1348.00 for the day, which was still well off its intraday high of $1403.61.

That performance was still over 17 times better than the cash index’s advance of 0.33%.

By far the biggest loser was Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), which dragged on the rest of the index. The DOJ announced an antitrust lawsuit against the company for anti-competitive tactics relating to services on its iPhones. For the day, the issue swooned $7.30 or 4.09% to close at $171.37.


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