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The theme of the S&P 500 index futures closing the week near the highs or lows returned for Friday’s session, and not in a good way.

Disappointing bank earnings released early in the morning helped start the day’s bearish tone, with JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), BlackRock, Inc (NYSE: BLK) and others being sharply sold off after releasing their reports. The early morning selling continued once March’s Import Price Index came in at 0.4% (MoM) vs. 0.3% expected, which was released at 8:30am EST.

By the time the regular session started, the index futures were already over 40 handles lower, opening just above the 5200 handle. The bulls were able to gain some ground in the first half hour, but that did not last long, as aggressive sellers took control once again. That pattern of bulls slowly gaining some ground followed by sharp selloffs continued throughout the session, with the index futures continuing to make new intraday lows every couple of hours. Some Fed comments in the afternoon from Daly and Bostic didn’t give the bulls much support either, as not much new was said.

Support was finally found near a double-bottom made in early March around the 5149 area. The bulls continued their defense of this level, despite the bears’ attempt at a selloff at the start of the final hour of the regular session. Once it was clear support would hold at 5150 (low of the session), the bulls were able to regain some ground in the late-day rally. 

The session concluded with a loss of 75.75 handles, closing at 5167.50. That accounted for nearly the whole week’s losses, which totaled 85.50 handles or 1.65%.

Among the top components of the index, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) emerged as the lone, and therefore biggest winner. The issue was able to advance by $1.51 or 0.86% to close at $176.55 for the day.

That performance was over 2 percent better than the cash index’s decline of 1.38%.

On the other hand, the biggest loser by far was JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM). Though the bank’s Q1 earnings themselves beat expectations, forecasts for the remainder of 2024 fell short of expectations, giving traders and investors a reason to head for the exit. For the day, the banking behemoth declined by $12.64 or 6.47% to close at $182.79.