Following a three-day losing streak to start the year (which was overall a five-day losing streak including the final two sessions of 2023), the S&P 500 index had only one two-day losing streak for the remainder of the month.
The selloff on Wednesday to end the month, which was instigated by Jerome Powell’s not so “dovish” comments on the future course of interest rates to end the month, had many anticipating follow-through to the downside. Wrong.
In fact, the index never touched unchanged in either session and recouped a majority of the prior day’s losses. For the first few hours of the session, the bears attempted to apply selling pressure, but were rebuffed for the final time heading into the lunch hour.
Once the index busted above 4900, more aggressive buying came in and the bulls overwhelmed the sellers. In the final hour, there was more pain for the bears. After sustaining a bid at the 4910 area, there were no offers to be found.
Just as the index sliced through the lower 4900 handle on Wednesday, it mosied its way right back up late in the session. After shedding 80.50 handles yesterday, it reclaimed 58.50 of them by ending the session at 4928.50.
Among the top components of the index, high-beta Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) led the way on the upside. It was one of the issues in the index that actually closed higher than it did on Tuesday. For the session, the issue added $15 or 2.4% at the closing price of $630.27, exceeding Tuesday’s closing price of $627.74.
This gain was more than double the cash index’s advance of 1.10%.
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) reversed its role from Wednesday and led the way down. For the session, the issue declined by $4.60 or 0.90%, ending the day at $507.14.