Bulls won the premarket trading in the S&P 500 index, bears had control of the market until just after 2:00 PM EST, and bulls got the win.
Following Friday’s weak price action and trepidation over the anniversary of 9-11 over the weekend, investors were braced for some volatility in Monday’s session. In the case of “too much, too fast,” the premarket rally faded hard and fast. Not only did the index surrender over 30 handles of gains (peaking at 4483.50), it actually went red by 12+ handles, when it bottomed at 4434.50.
True to form, the “buy the dip” crowd sprang into action in the final hours of the session, to help the index halt a five-day losing streak. Due to a final surge in the last few minutes, the index ended the session higher by 9.50 handles to close at 4459.50. Bulls were not done at the cash close and tacked on another 7 handles in early after-hours trading, putting the futures at a steep premium to the cash as of 5:00 PM EST.
In a wild reversal of Friday’s price action, top component UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) added $10.61 or 2.63% to close at $414.51, which was a nickel shy of Thursday’s close. Also, that gain far outpaced the index which added only 0.23%.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was the biggest drag on the index, shedding $1.17 or 0.70% to close at $165.80.