Skip to main content

As the S&P 500 index pushes its all-time highs, traders and investors looking for a direction in the futures on Friday didn’t get any.

The overnight session saw a decline, influenced in part by a weak forecast from Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) released after hours on Thursday. Despite this, support around the 4900 mark remained resilient, with bulls managing a recovery during the premarket hours.

The release of inflation data at 8:30am, showing both the PCE and Core PCE indices aligning with expectations at 0.2% for December, briefly fueled a bullish rally. However, this momentum was short-lived and quickly gave way to selling pressure, leading to a slightly lower opening for the regular session.

The first hour of trading was fairly choppy, but eventually the bulls eked out a new high of 4934.25. Their hold on the market was tenuous, and a breach of Thursday’s closing level allowed the bears to push the index back down towards the lows, resulting in another round of chop.

A late attempt by the bulls to retest Thursday’s close was ultimately unsuccessful, and the final hour saw the index futures decline, closing the day with a loss of 7 handles at 4916.25. This resulted in a weekly gain of 46.75 handles or 0.96%.

Among the top components of the index, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) stood out as the biggest gainer. The healthcare company’s stock rose by $9.80 or 1.99%, finishing at $503.20.

That gain outperformed the cash index’s decrease of 0.13% by over two percent.

Conversely, Broadcom, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) faced the steepest loss among the top components, partly due to Intel’s negative outlook. Broadcom’s stock declined by $25.12 or 2.04%, closing at $1204.88.