After four consecutive days of gains, the S&P 500 Index finally hit a bump in the road. Despite spending most of the session in the green, the index was unable to maintain its momentum, closing the day with a modest loss. A faltering energy sector and bank earnings signaling a potential economic slowdown were the main culprits behind today’s weak performance.
Opening near the peak of premarket activity, the S&P Index Futures swiftly reached its intraday high within the first trading hour, setting a new high for the move at 4560.50. However, this buoyancy was short-lived as the index gradually drifted lower throughout the session, hitting a low of 4531 right before the market closed. This was still comfortably above yesterday’s low of 4521.25.
Closing the day at 4536.75, the index marked a loss of 6.75 handles. Despite today’s retreat, the index finished the week in a strong position, boasting a gain of 98.75 handles or +2.2%.
Among the top components, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) outshone its peers with a robust 7.24% or $32.42 surge, closing at $480.17. This stellar performance came on the back of its quarterly earnings release, which revealed higher-than-expected profits.
That far outpaced the cash index’s decline of 0.09% for the day.
On the flip side, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) experienced a challenging day on the trading floor. The oil giant saw its share price slide by 3.44% or $3.60, bringing it down to a close of $100.94, making it the day’s most significant laggard among the top components.