Weekly Market Recap – January 25th, 2019
In the Markets
The longest U.S. government shutdown came to an end to close the week, with an agreement to reopen the federal government through February 15th. The major equity indices saw limited moves on the shortened week, each finishing almost flat, as the Dow Jones and NASDAQ both rose 0.1%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.2%. The S&P is still up 13.2% since its plummet on December 24th, and up 6.3% year to date.
In addition to the news regarding the government shutdown, there were indications that the fed may be reaching its balance sheet normalization targets. Also, applications for unemployment benefits fell below 200,000 for the first time since 1969, further underlying the strong jobs market. News was mixed however, as global growth data put a damper on the positive market news, with China recording its slowest GDP growth since 1990, posting a 6.6% economic expansion. Some projections for 2019 and 2020 are even lower as the economic superpower continues trade talks with the U.S.
Venezuela’s political crisis escalated this week, as Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president challenging sitting President Nicolás Maduro. A 2017 OPEC report showed that Venezuelan crude reserves are even greater than those of Saudi Arabia. While in the short term, crude oil did not show a significant response to these events, as WTI futures only fell 0.56% on the week, and Brent futures dropped 1.71%, events in the South American nation could have an impact on the global crude market.
Other energies also dropped on the week, with gasoline dropping 3.85%, heating oil falling 0.97%, and natural gas posting the most substantial drop of the sector, down 8.73%.
Precious metals showed strong performance, with gold futures up 1.21%, silver up 1.95%, and platinum climbing 2.02%.
Agricultural commodities will await the February 8th WASDE report with the reopening U.S. government, which was absent in January during the shutdown. Sugar and cocoa posted losses in softs, down 4.53% and 3.55% respectively, while coffee gained on the week, up 1.76%.
World Cup Trading Championships
The 2019 World Cup Championships of Futures Trading® are gaining momentum with Marko Grcic of Croatia jumping out to an early lead, closing Friday with a net return of 42.9%. Marko was followed by Brazilian Eduardo Ramos with a net return of 24.8%, and Jonathan Brum da Silva of Portugal with a net return of 22.2%. Fourth place was secured by Fernando Cadilla Pineiro of Spain, with a net return of 20.3%, and the top 5 was rounded out by Patrick Nill of the U.S. who posted a net return of 17.7%.
Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. World Cup Championship (WCC ) accounts do not necessarily represent all the trading accounts controlled by a given competitor. WCC competitors may control accounts that produce results substantially different than the results achieved in their WCC accounts. WCC entrants may trade more than one account in the competition.