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When the S&P 500 index futures start the week at one extreme of the previous week’s range, the stage is set for follow through on the following Monday.

After Friday’s mid-day reversal that had the index at its lowest level since mid-July, the bears were in a position to exact more pain. However, as it commonly happens, the bulls stepped in to defend the market.

During the premarket session, the index never went below last week’s low, as the higher open by a few handles was the dead low for the session. The bears made one feeble attempt to revisit that low off the opening of the regular session, but came up well-shy.

The index consolidated in the 4530 area for quite some time, but was able to turn it into support as it caught a strong bid at it in the final ten minutes of the session. The late round of buying pushed the index to a gain of 39.75 handles at closing price of 4537.75.

Among the top components of the index, Berkshire Hathaway Class B (NYSE: BRK,B) was the biggest gainer. After announcing better-than-expected Q2 results over the weekend, the behemoth leaped $12.59 or 3.6% at the closing price of $362.58. That is the best day the issue had in years, making a new all-time high by nearly $10.

That is just under three percent better than the cash index’s advance of 0.8%.

Conversely, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was the biggest loser of the top components of the index for the third day in a row. There continues to be selling pressure following its non-impressive Q3 beat last Thursday. For the session, the issue declined $3.14 or 1.7% at the closing price of $178.85. That brings its three-day decline to $13.73 or 7.1%.


The Closing Print with Dennis Dick & Joel Elconin