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After the soft end to last week’s rally in the S&P 500 index futures, short sellers and profit takers were ready to take stage during Monday’s session. 

Despite a bullish effort in the premarket hours that brought the index from a deficit to a marginally positive open, the regular session quickly turned in favor of the bears. The initial attempt by the bulls to spark a rally was met with stiff resistance at the premarket highs, faltering within the first ten minutes. This resistance gave the bears the upper hand, initiating what would be a choppy selloff throughout the day. Although the bulls attempted to defend key levels including Friday’s lows, their efforts were in vain, ultimately ceding ground to the bears. 

The session ended on a bearish note, with the index futures closing nearly at the intraday low, down 21.25 handles at 5080.25.

Among the top components of the index, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) stood out as the day’s biggest gainer, riding high on positive sentiment from a strong earnings report by Chinese automaker Li Auto. Tesla’s stock advanced $7.43 or 3.87% to close at $199.40. 

This outperformed the cash index’s overall decline of 0.37%.

On the other hand, Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ: GOOG) found itself at the other end of the spectrum, becoming the day’s biggest loser. The technology giant faced challenges after having to temporarily shut down part of its AI services, which was due to issues with its model and subsequent online backlash. This resulted in a 4.50% drop in its stock, closing at $138.75.