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As the curtain fell on the final trading day of the year, the S&P 500 index futures retreated slightly, giving back some of the gains accrued during the Santa Claus rally. 

The overnight trading session largely stayed in positive territory, but a turn in sentiment during the premarket hours steered the index futures into the red.

The regular session kicked off with an attempt by the bulls to reverse the downward trend, but their efforts were soon overshadowed by bearish pressure. An hour into the session, as the premarket low was breached, a selloff ensued, pushing the index futures just below the psychological 4800 level. However, this dip was short-lived, with the bulls re-entering the fray around lunchtime.

The subsequent period saw a gradual recovery in the index, continuing steadily until the final hour of trading. In that last hour, marked by heightened activity as traders and investors adjusted their positions for the year’s end, the market experienced considerable chop.

Despite the day’s fluctuations, the bulls managed to pare back the losses, closing the day down by 12.25 handles at 4820. This also marked the closing figure for the week, month and year.

The shortened trading week concluded with a modest gain of 14.75 handles or 0.3%. The month of December was notably more robust, witnessing a gain of 168.25 handles or 3.6%. Over the course of the year, the S&P 500 index futures (on a rolling contract basis) achieved a substantial increase of 842.75 or 21.2%, with the rally since the October 26 low (16.5%) contributing significantly to the year’s overall performance.

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) stood out among the top components of the index, ending the day as the biggest gainer. The pharmaceutical company saw its stock rise by $2.07 or 0.36%, closing at $582.92.

That slightly outperformed the cash index’s decline of 0.29%.

On the opposite end, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) continued to face selling pressure, ending as the biggest loser among the top S&P 500 components once again. The electric vehicle maker’s stock fell by $4.70 or 1.86%, closing the year at $248.48.


Happy New Year from the PreMarket Prep Team!