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In contrast to Wednesday’s rip getting sold, Thursday’s intraday dip in the S&P 500 index futures was bought, albeit in a less dramatic fashion.

Buying started early on in the overnight session, partially thanks to positive earnings reports released after Wednesday’s close. By the open of Thursday’s regular session, the index futures were trading over 35 handles higher. Off the hop, bulls took the index nearly to meet the premarket high, where they met the bears head on. A sharp reversal then ensued, taking the index futures back down into the red within the first 40 minutes of trading. 

The bulls were eventually able to find support near Wednesday’s low (5037.75), and started their comeback. For the remainder of the morning, the bulls were able to defend Wednesday’s closing level, but were unable to establish any significant momentum. Just as the lunch hour came to a close, the rally started to gain steam. In the final hour of the regular session, the bulls were able to breach resistance first seen at the premarket high (5090), but were unable to overcome resistance in the 5100 area. 

Despite the bears’ attempt at a selloff during the penultimate 15 minutes, the bulls were able to hold on to the day’s gains in the final 15 minutes, concluding the regular session near the premarket high. Even as market participants await Friday’s employment report being released at 8:30am EDT, the index futures still gained a solid 45 handles to close near the highs at 5091.50.

After the close, the second largest component of the S&P 500 index, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), released their Q2 earnings report which included $110B in share buybacks and marginal beats on top and bottom lines. As Apple surged, the index futures gained nearly a further 20 handles during after hours trading.

Among the top components of the index, NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) emerged as the biggest gainer. The chipmaker was able to advance by $27.70 or 3.34% to close at $858.11 for the day.

That performance was over three times the cash index’s advance of 0.94%.

The biggest loser ended up being Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE: LLY). For the day, the healthcare issue declined by $20.79 or 2.68% to close at $755.91.


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