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As is often the case for the last day of the month, there was a decline in Tuesday’s session for the S&P 500 index futures. A slow decay started early on in the overnight session, but the bulls were able to stave off any large tumbles until the day’s economic data came in.

At 8:30am EDT, employment cost index numbers were released, coming in at 1.2% for Q1, compared to 1.0% expected, indicating the economy is still above the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target. The index futures subsequently dropped, only until a bid was caught in the 5120 area, where the bulls started a light rally.

The rally continued past the opening bell, but selling pressure prevented the index from nearing Monday’s closing level (5147). As the selling pressure mounted, the bears started a series of sharp selloffs, followed by choppy support by the bulls that continued for the rest of the session. The index futures continued to swoon, breaching Friday’s low and continuing down past the weekly pivot.

The regular session concluded at 5067, nearly at fresh intraday lows made just before the close, down by 80 handles. The trepidation in the index futures perhaps reflected the anticipation of the FOMC interest-rate decision being released Wednesday afternoon, as well as further earnings reports to be released this week, including, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) after Tuesday’s close.

Among the top components of the index, Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE: LLY) emerged as the biggest gainer. Even though the healthcare company missed on revenue, their Q1 earnings report released Tuesday morning beat on EPS, and raised guidance for the remainder of 2024. For the day, the issue was able to advance by $43.93 or 5.96% to close at $781.10.

That performance was over seven percent better than the cash index’s decline of 1.58%.

Reversing its role from yesterday, the biggest loser was Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), as bag-holders and other sellers took advantage of the carmaker’s gain on Monday. For the day, the issue declined by $10.77 or 5.55% to close at $183.28.


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