The ebbs and flows of the market were in full display on Thursday as traders navigated through a terrain marked by a further decline in crude oil futures. This cast a shadow over the energy sector for the second day running, tallying nearly 8% in losses over two days.
Meanwhile, the overnight and premarket hours saw the S&P 500 futures index hovering around unchanged on the day. As the regular session commenced, the bulls briefly pushed the index into the green. However, their enthusiasm was short-lived as selling pressure took the index back to red within the first 10 minutes. The bears seized the reins, driving the index downwards to 4258, almost reaching Wednesday’s intraday low of 4254.25.
Post-lunch hours heralded a resurgence of the bulls, embarking on a slow but steady trek northward, elevating the index to an intraday high of 4300.75. This nearly matched Wednesday’s high of 4304. However, as the day neared its end, the final hour witnessed a pullback, nudging the index to close in the red, albeit still lingering near the day’s highs. For the day, the S&P 500 futures had receded 7 handles, marking the close at 4290.75. The indecision of the day reflects on the anticipation of the US employment report due to be released Friday morning.
In the top components of the index, NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) emerged as the day’s biggest winner, reaping the rewards of Morgan Stanley’s announcement of an increased position in the chipmaker. The news helped the issue rise by 1.47% or $6.47, wrapping up the session at $446.88.
This performance beat the cash index’s decline of 0.13%.
On the contrary, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) found itself in murky waters yet again, as a further 2% nosedive in crude oil prices exacerbated its descent. The energy behemoth dwindled by another 2.25% or $2.51, ending the day at a somber $108.99.