Weekly Market Recap – January 18th, 2019

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Weekly Market Recap – January 18th, 2019

In the Markets

The U.K. took the spotlight last week. On Tuesday, Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the largest parliamentary loss in more than a century. On Wednesday, May’s government narrowly survived a no-confidence vote, and she signaled that she was willing to negotiate a Brexit deal that everyone could get behind. It’s become increasingly likely that the negotiation period will be extended to avoid a hard Brexit. The British pound was trading between $1.29 – $1.30 against the dollar on Friday in the upper end of its trading range. The markets seem to favor extending the deadline as long as possible.

On Friday, China’s offer for a six-year boost in imports of U.S. goods were reflected by the markets as a sign of hope among economic uncertainty between the U.S. and China. The DJIA was up over 330 points or 1.38% higher on Friday with gains of 1.32% in the S&P 500 and 1.03% in the NASDAQ on the final session of the week. That leaves weekly gains of 3%, 2.9% and 2.8% for the DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ respectively.

Commodities saw a boost with the prospect of easing trade tensions in some of the hardest hit markets. Corn rose 0.93% for the week. Soy saw a gain of 0.71%, and CBOT Wheat lost a marginal -0.34%. Feeder Cattle lost -1.43% and Lean Hogs were down -2.27% falling below $0.60/lb. Energies gained with help from cold weather. Natural Gas was up +12.36%, Brent Crude up 3.67%, and NYMEX Crude rose 4.28%. Gasoline futures gained 3.72% and Heating Oil was up 1.93% for the week. Softs saw modest gains. Coffee gained 1.06%, Sugar up 1.96%, Cocoa rose 2.08%, and Cotton closed the week up 1.93%.

With US Dollar Index Futures up 0.76%, precious metals fell. Gold dropped -0.54%, Silver and Platinum were down -1.64% and -1.94% respectively. The markets seem to still be closely tied to the news cycle, but mostly positive gains ended the week with the VIX dropping to 0.44.

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