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For the third day in a row, the S&P 500 index futures meandered in much smaller-than-average trading range. In today’s session, the index traded in a 40-handle range (4501.75-4541.25). A vast majority of the price action took place in the 4520 handle as well.

Just before 9:00 AM EST, the index was threatening Wednesday’s high (4541.25), but the rally stalled shy of it, only reaching 4539.50. The bears made a few attempts to revisit Wednesday’s low, but were rebuffed for the final time heading into the lunch hour.

The rebound off that low took the index into the 4530 handle, but stopped shy of the premarket high and retreated. In a choppy final fifteen minutes, the index managed a small gain of 4.25 handles at the closing price of 4527.50.

That brings to the total for the week to 97 handles and two week gain of 151.50 handles

Among the top components, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was the biggest winner. Investors applauded a reduction in its Alexa workforce as the issue added $2.35 or 1.65% at the closing price of $145.18. 

This performance was much better than the cash index’s slight advance of 0.13%.

In contrast, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), which had been weak during both the premarket and regular sessions, was the biggest loser. Around 3:30 PM EST, the issue took a $6 plunge ($373-$367), when it was announced that the CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman was fired. Investors took it out on Microsoft, which has a $13B stake in the company. One day removed from making a new all-time high by a wide margin, the issue declined $6.32 or 1.7% to close at $369.85.


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