November’s bullish momentum in the S&P 500 index futures continued unabated, with today’s session marking another significant uptick. Despite a relatively calm premarket session oscillating around an unchanged level, the day’s trajectory was dramatically reshaped by the much-anticipated inflation data.
The October inflation numbers, released at 8:30am ET, revealed a welcome downturn, with both the headline CPI and Core CPI coming in below expectations, both recording a flat 0.0% month over month (vs. expectations of 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively). This data, signaling a possible easing of inflation pressures, alleviated fears of interest rate hikes for the near term, igniting a rally across bonds and equities alike.
The market’s response was swift and decisive, with the index futures leaping nearly 36 handles in a matter of seconds. This bullish fervor carried over into the regular session, propelling the index to a temporary peak of 4520.75 not long after the open.
As the morning progressed, profit-takers and bears made an appearance before the lunch hour, but their impact was muted as the bulls steadfastly defended the psychological 4500 level. The afternoon session saw another surge, culminating in a new intraday high of 4524.25, before encountering a wave of profit-taking in the session’s final moments.
The day ended on a high note, with the index notching a remarkable gain of 89.25 handles, closing at 4514.50. This surge brings November’s gains to an impressive 7.4%.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) led the charge among the top components of the index. Bolstered by the broader market rally and news of India potentially reducing taxes on EV imports, Tesla surged 6.12% or $13.70, closing the day at $237.41.
This performance more than tripled the cash index’s gain of 1.91%.
In contrast, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) found itself on the other end of the spectrum. Amidst a lagging healthcare sector, UnitedHealth slipped 0.39% or $2.11, ending the day at $540.46, thus bearing the title of the biggest loser among the top S&P 500 components.