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In a day full of economic and Fed news, there was notable support by the bulls, and notable resistance by the bears in Wednesday’s session in the S&P 500 index futures.

The premarket hours set a positive tone, steadily climbing into the green ahead of significant data releases and anticipated commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The release of February’s ADP employment numbers at 8:15am EST, significantly surpassing expectations, injected further buoyancy into the bulls’ sails early in the day. However as the regular session opened, resistance at Tuesday’s intraday high curtailed the enthusiasm, leading to an initial selloff.

The market’s focal point shifted at 10am EST with Powell’s testimony to Congress. His comments regarding a rate cut within the year, conditional upon confidence that the 2% inflation target is “assured,” revitalized bullish sentiment. The bulls found solid footing just below the 5100 mark, embarking on a rally that would encounter its top near Monday’s closing level around the lunch hour.

The day’s gains were put in jeopardy by news from the US State Department concerning two deaths in a Red Sea attack, pulling the index back to its intraday lows. The subsequent release of the Fed’s Beige Book at 2:00 pm EST, while highlighting moderating inflation and expectations for less restrictive financial conditions in the upcoming 6-12 months, led to choppy trading in the afternoon.

However, the bulls managed a recovery in the final hour, rallying from the repeatedly tested 5100 support level to finish closer to the opening level. The session, which never dipped into the red, wrapped up with a gain of 26 handles, closing at 5111.75.

NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) distinguished itself as Wednesday’s standout performer among the index’s heavyweights, surging $27.36 or 3.18% to an all-time closing high of $887.00. 

This leap outpaced the broader index’s modest gain of 0.51% by over sixfold.

Conversely, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) faced the steepest decline, dropping $4.20 or 2.32% to close at $176.54, as Morgan Stanley’s price target cut weighed on investor sentiment.