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After a big down day and the first one since mid-December, there is always the likelihood for strong follow-through to the downside and a two-day move. That did take place in the premarket and then again in the regular session, but the S&P 500 index futures battled back on both occasions. For those using the premarket levels for parameters to trade-off intraday, the premarket low was breached by six points (4662 vs. 4668) but quickly rebounded. 

From 11:00 AM until the final fifteen minutes of the session, there were random 10-20 handle spikes in either direction. The high for the day (4715.75) was made around 1:00 PM when the lack of liquidity allowed the bots to jam buy stops above the early morning high (4712).

A similar move took place on the downside late in the session when it appeared the index was heading for the low of the day, but stopped on a dime and rebounded into the close. The final push allowed the index to trim its loss for the session to 5 handles to close at 4787.50.

Perhaps the reason for the choppy two-way action is that Friday morning at 8:30 AM EST, the government will announce the job data for December. A hot reading may reinforce the Fed’s more hawkish tone and a cool reading may alter the pace for interest rate hikes.

Avoiding the tech wreck like other top tech components and posting the biggest gain of the major ones was Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). For the session, the issue added $8.29 or 2.6% to close at $332.26.

That was significantly better than the cash index’s slight decline of 0.10%.

Bad news from Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM) dragged down UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which was the biggest loser of the top components. For the session, the issue declined by $20.04 or 4.09% to close at $569.65.


PreMarket Prep Stock Of The Day: Bed, Bath And Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY)

A 33% range off Wednesday’s close ($13.37) from the premarket low ($11.90) to the regular session high ($16.38) for the “meme” stock. Read more about BBBY here.