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When the S&P 500 index has a big move in either direction, investors are anxious to see if it is just a one-day phenomenon, or will the index continue in the same direction. Considering the four-day losing streak that was snapped on Wednesday, two up days in a row were more than welcome.

Off the 6:00 PM EST open on Wednesday for Thursday’s session, the index never went below its closing price (4384) as the index immediately bottomed at 4385.75 and began to move higher. The premarket rally was able to surpass the all-important close from Friday (4421.75), as 4424.75 marked the high for the session.

Bulls took control of the index off the opening bell and were relentless buyers. Once the index surpassed the premarket high, the pace of the rally accelerated even more. It was not until around 2:00 PM EST that some sellers finally showed up.

In an orderly fashion, the index retreated for the remainder of the session. Although the index backed off the high at one point by 20 handles, it still posted a substantial gain. For the session, the index gained 54 handles to close 4438. That made for a two-day gain of nearly 100 handles.

Even though interest rates are not supposed to be going up anytime soon, JP Morgan & Chase Co. was the biggest gainer of the top components. For the session, it added $5.27 or 3.38%. That was well over a double the index’s gain of 1.21%.

There was only one loser of the top components and that was the erratic UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), which declined $0.67 or 0.16% to close at $408.03.


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