Weekly Market Recap – January 17th, 2020
In the Markets
U.S. equity markets continued to soar on the back of positive earnings reports, economic data, and trade news, sending the major indices flying once again to new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.5%, the NASDAQ rose 2.3%, and the S&P 500 gained 2.0%. The positive performance spanned several groups, with six of the eleven S&P 500 sectors gaining at least 2.0% on the week. Additionally, Alphabet (GOOG) became the fourth U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market-cap valuation.
Retail sales and housing starts had gains in December, while inflation remained muted. Additionally, the U.S. removed China from its currency manipulator list as part of phase one of the trade deal. China wasn’t the only nation receiving trade relations updates with the United States, as the Senate passed the USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement).
Crude oil futures fell slightly on the week as WTI crude lost 0.85% and Brent futures lost 0.2%. Crude products fared slightly worse on the week, as gasoline lost 1.14% and heating oil fell 3.59%. Natural gas plummeted on the week, losing 9.04%.
Precious metals posted mixed results, with gold and silver finishing almost flat as platinum and palladium posted strong gains. Gold finished up just 0.01% while silver slipped 0.18%. Platinum gained 4.34% and palladium led the sector with an 8.53% gain. Copper also rose on the week, up 1.14%.
Despite the trade developments between the U.S. and China, soybeans, a major commodity between the two economic superpowers, fell 1.77%. Corn and wheat, however, both gained, up 0.91% and 1.18% respectively. Lean hogs also gained on the week, up 0.62%. Coffee fell significantly, losing 5.72%, while milk dipped 0.12%. The futures market’s latte ended the week extra sweet, as sugar gained 2.7%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Jan Smolen and Fang Wang closed Friday atop the Global Cup leaderboard, separated by just 0.2%. Jan Smolen clung to first place with a net return of 122.1%, followed by Fang Wang’s 121.9%. Third place’s Wayne Wan ended the week just another 5.1% behind Fang, with a net return of 116.8%. First and fourth place were only divided by 13.3%; Maxim Schulz took fourth with a net return of 108.8%. Archie Ma rounded out the top five with a net return of 87.2%.
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