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Tuesday’s action in the S&P 500 index futures was in one word, choppy, and in two words, range-bound.

Early morning economic news included March housing starts and building permits that both came in below expectations, but helped the bulls give a small lift during premarket hours. That news wasn’t enough to keep the index futures in the green however, as the opening print was only 3 handles above unchanged.

The bears soon had the index futures chopping down to the premarket low, which coincided with the low from February 21 earlier this year. From that support area, the bulls soon had the index back up chopping around unchanged, before that key support level was tested again. Once support held, the bulls took the index futures back up to the premarket high, which also coincided with the low from March 4. It was those two levels (premarket high and low) that contained the rest of the day’s action.

Headline news later in the day included comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which suggested that any rate reductions in 2024 may come relatively late in the year, if at all. This news wasn’t enough to budge the index futures out of its intraday range either. The day finally concluded lower by 11.50 handles, closing at 5092.50.

Among the top components of the index, NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) emerged as the biggest gainer. The colossal chipmaker was able to advance by $14.14 or 1.64% to close at $874.15 for the day.

That performance was still over 1 percent better than the cash index’s decline of 0.18%.

The biggest loser ended up being Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) for the second day in a row as investors continued to exit the issue as they continue to digest news of company layoffs. For the day, the stock declined by $4.37 or 2.71% to close at $157.11.


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