The S&P 500 index futures continued their downward trajectory, marking a four-day losing streak, though it’s worth noting that the streak began with a nearly flat day. The premarket session again took part in most of the day’s bearish action, with a notable absence of buyers by the time the market opened.
Half an hour into the regular session, efforts by the bulls to establish a foothold around the 4755-4760 area were short-lived, as they briefly managed to push the index higher. It wasn’t until an hour into the session that more substantial support emerged, aligning with the lows recorded on December 19 and 20.
The bulk of the day’s trading oscillated between the morning’s highs and lows, with neither side gaining a decisive advantage for most of the session. However, in the final hour, the bears regained the upper hand, driving the index to a new intraday low. The bulls made a modest recovery towards the close, but only managed to recapture less than 7 handles.
The index futures ended the day with a loss of 40.75 handles at 4746.50, retracting to levels seen just before the Santa Claus rally. Despite the overall downturn, the decline was not uniform across the index. Notably, last year’s leading issues continued to face selling pressure, while previously lagging stocks attracted buying interest.
In the top components of the index, healthcare remained a bright spot, with Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) emerging as the biggest gainer. The pharmaceutical company recorded a substantial increase of $25.50 or 4.31%, closing the day at $617.70
That performance was over five percent better than the cash index’s loss of 0.82%.
On the other side, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) endured the steepest decline among the top S&P 500 components. The electric vehicle maker’s stock continued its downward spiral, falling $9.97 or 4.01%, to close at $238.45.