Weekly Market Recap – February 1st, 2019
In the Markets
The three major equity indices all posted gains on the week, with the Dow Jones up 1.3%, the NASDAQ climbing 1.4%, and the S&P up 1.6%. The S&P’s gains resulted in its strongest January since 1987, with many companies’ earnings reports stronger than expected.
The Fed adopted a more dovish approach this week, not raising interest rates, and signaling a more passive approach moving forward due to slow global growth and lessened inflation pressures. Additionally, the Fed indicated plans to retain more of its current bond holdings to keep borrowing costs low for companies and consumers.
The January employment report revealed 300,000 jobs created in the month, as well as a 3 cent growth in hourly wages. The unemployment rate, however, climbed back to 4%.
Global factors continue to worry investors, including continued tensions surrounding Brexit, Italian debt, and the still unfinished U.S. China negotiations.
Crude oil futures rallied on the week, as WTI crude climbed 2.92% and Brent futures rose 2.03%. Gasoline and heating oil followed suit, up 2.29% and 1.38% respectively. Despite the recent polar vortex gripping the Midwestern U.S., Natural Gas futures plummeted 10.42% as spring sits just around the corner.
Precious metals saw rallies across the board, with gold and platinum both up over 1%, and silver leading the pack with a 1.48% gain.
The agricultural sector saw losses in many commodities ahead of the much anticipated WASDE report, including small dips of less than 1% in soybeans, corn, and wheat. Coffee and cocoa futures fell more sharply, down 2.9% and 2.56% respectively, while sugar was a lone positive, up 1.29% on the week.
World Cup Trading Championships
Marko Grcic maintained his lead, extending his net return from 42.9% to 53%. The remaining 4 on the leaderboard experienced a shakeup, with Bernd Klinsmann of Germany rising from the fray to claim second place with a net return of 37.1%. The U.S’s Princely Mathew claimed 3rd place with a net return of 33.4%, followed closely by Tze Chun Fung’s 30.1% net return. Jonathan Brum da Silva joined Marko as the only traders to retain their position in the top 5, finishing the week with a net return of 28.5%.
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.