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For much of Tuesday morning’s action in the S&P 500 index futures, there was no clear direction as the index oscillated between red and green on the day.

The choppiness continued amid the release of economic data that came in below expectations, including consumer confidence and durable goods orders. However, the tide began to turn by the lunch hour when support fell apart. The bears initially made headway, pushing the index down to its low for the day at 5067, which was still above the weekly pivot. Yet, this proved to be the extent of their success, as a bullish resurgence took hold from 1pm EST onwards. 

The afternoon saw a steady accumulation of buying, overcoming the earlier indecision and leading to a positive close for the day. Despite some last-minute selling that slightly pulled the index back from a new intraday high, the futures ended the session up by 9.75 handles, closing at 5090.

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) stood out among the top components of the index, securing the spot as the day’s biggest gainer. The tech giant saw its stock climb by $5.31 or 1.10%, closing at $487.05. 

That performance was over 5 times better than the cash index’s gain of 0.19%.

Conversely, UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE: UNH) found itself on the opposite end of the spectrum, emerging as the biggest loser among the index’s leading components. The healthcare conglomerate faced downward pressure following news of an antitrust investigation launched by the Justice Department, leading to a decline of $11.90 or 2.27%, with its shares closing at $513.42.


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