For only the third time this year, the S&P 500 index has endured back-to-back losing weeks, the first one being in February and the latter being in April. Given the magnitude of the recent rally and the velocity of Friday’s sell-off, it appears that the index has more work to do on the downside.
A choppy premarket session was a precursor to the opening few minutes of trading. The index made a few attempts to go in the green but came up shy of the close (4464.25) only reaching 4460.25, which was well shy of the premarket high of 4472.50.
Once the premarket low was breached 4448.25, the pace of the decline accelerated. The index did make a few attempts to bounce off the area where it had a pair of lows from earlier in the week (4426), with the last attempt coming late in the session, but to no avail.
To make matters worse, the index was pounded in the after-hours session paving the way for more downside on Monday. Whereas the official mark for the index was lower by 42.50 handles at 4421.75, it fell an additional 13.50 handles to 4408.25 by the conclusion of after-hours trading.
The tech wreck, which involved the top five components of the index, was led by Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB),. The issue had its worst session since its post-earnings retreat, falling 2.23% to close at $364.72. That was over double the index’s loss of 0.91%.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) continued its seesaw pattern for the week (alternating red and green days), and was the top gainer of the top components. The issue added $3.32 or 0.80% to close at $420.16. It should be noted that the healthcare company defied the retreat in the index for the week adding $16.25 or 0.40%. For the week, the S&P 500 shed 0.05%.