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At Tuesday’s peak in the S&P 500 index futures, it was only 170 handles away from its all-time high. Following two days of selling to end the quarter it has a lot more ground to make up in order to reach that lofty level. With the late-day decline, the index is now roughly 270 handles from its all-time.

The meandering in premarket trading ended a few minutes into the opening bell as sellers began to emerge. The decline was hardly straight down in fashion with intermittent rallies giving some hope to the bulls. In fact, a few minutes into the final hour the index was within a dozen handles of being flat on the session. 

However, there was a clear exodus out of stocks to the end of the session. Once the index breached the existing intraday low (4568), the pace of the decline rapidly accelerated. In a rare fashion, aided by a large sell imbalance, the index tumbled over 50 handles from the last hour peak, before bottoming in the final minute at 4526.25. 

For the session, the index declined by 65.25 handles for an artificially low mark at 4530.75. Shorts that did not cover in the closing minute had to pay up; the index ended the after-hours session at 4540.

The biggest winner of the top components of the index was the smallest loser, Berkshire Hathaway Class B (NYSE: BRK.B). The issue declined by $4.70 or 1.3% to close at $352.91.

That was slightly better than the cash index’s decline of 1.57%

By far, the biggest loser of the top components was JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). For the session, the issue declined by $4.23 or 3% to close at $136.52.


PreMarket Prep Stock Of The Day: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) 

A Morgan Stanley downgrade one day after making a new all-time high does some damage. Read more on HPQ here.