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After Monday’s rally was sold, taking the S&P 500 index off its all-time highs, traders and investors eagerly awaited CPI data during Tuesday’s premarket session.

The early premarket hours saw a slight decline, setting the stage for the day’s main event. Upon the announcement of January’s CPI and Core CPI figures at 8:30am EST — both exceeding expectations by 0.1%, at 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively — a swift selloff ensued, reflecting concerns that interest rates might remain elevated for an extended period.

The bearish momentum established by the CPI data dominated the early trading, pushing the index futures down by more than 66 handles by the regular session’s open. Although a brief rally was sparked in the 4962 area after the opening bell, suggesting a potential comeback by the bulls, their efforts were short-lived. The initial momentum faded before the lunch hour, allowing the bears to regain control and drive the session towards a lower trajectory.

The decline continued until the final hour of the session, bottoming at 4936.50. It was here that the bulls made their final stand. In a late-day turnaround, the bulls were able to recover a significant portion of the day’s losses, bringing the index futures to close at 4971.25, down a total of 70 handles.

Amidst the general downturn, Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) emerged as the day’s sole winner among top components of the index, resisting the broader market’s selloff to advance by $5.71 or 0.77%, ending at $742.97. 

This performance was over two percent better than the cash index’s decline of 1.38%.

Conversely, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) continued its streak as the biggest laggard for the second consecutive day, with the stock falling by $4.11 or 2.18% to close at $184.02.