Mega cap technology stocks did their best to buoy the index, but succumbed to market forces later in the day. As a result, the S&P 500 futures index declined for the second day in a row. Over the past six sessions, the index has had one up day and five losing days, with one of those being a flat session. The index was especially volatile during the Federal Reserve Chairman’s appearance at the New York Economic Club midday.
Once his Q&A session ended, the bears went on the offensive. At one point, during his talk, the index was higher by over 20 handles and then began to crater. It was nearly a straight down affair, with only brief pauses until the index made another leg lower. Once mega cap technology stocks began to crumble, the pace of the decline accelerated.
Heading into the final hour, the index was attempting to find a bottom and breached last week’s low (4299.50), falling to 4294.75. In the final few minutes, the index tried to distance itself from the low but was unsuccessful.
The end result was a decline of 39.25 handles at the closing price of 4403. In brisk after hours trading the index decayed further to breach the low, falling to 4292.75, but recovered to make the last after hours print of 4296.50.
Among the top components of the index, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) was the biggest winner. Investors may have been following the lead of Citigroup Inc., which raised its price target for the issue to $430. For the session, the issue added $1.21 or 0.36% at the closing price of $331.32.
That performance was much better than the cash index’s decline of 0.85%.
Conversely, for the second day in a row Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was the biggest loser. After missing Q3 estimates, coupled with cautious comments from Elon Musk, the issue swooned $22.57 or 9.3% at the closing price of $220.11.