Weekly Market Recap – March 6, 2020
In the Markets
Volatility remained high again this week as tensions surrounding the spreading coronavirus continued to rock the world. During the week’s sessions, the S&P 500 moved within a 235-point range. Despite the numerous factors applying pressure to global markets, major U.S. indices managed gains on the week. The NASDAQ posted the smallest advance, moving just 0.1%, while the S&P 500 netted 0.6% on the week, and the Dow Jones recovered 1.8% on the week. While the three major indices rose on the week, the Russell 2000 slipped an additional 1.8% on the week, bringing its YTD 2020 return to -13.1%.
Officials did not sit idly by as coronavirus fears weighed on investor sentiment, as the Federal Reserve decided on an emergency 50 basis point cut to interest rates on Tuesday. Additionally, the U.S. Congress approved $8.5 billion in emergency spending to handle the outbreak. Developments in the United States’ Presidential election, including Joe Biden taking the lead from Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, provided another potential factor on market volatility.
While equities managed a minor recovery, crude oil markets steepened their dive. To end the week, members of OPEC met in Vienna, Austria, with onlookers expecting the international cartel to reach an agreement on production cuts. However, the meeting ended Friday with Saudi Arabia and OPEC-Ally Russia failing to reach an agreement on the magnitude of the cuts, with the Saudis pushing for a cut of 1.5 million barrels per day while the Russians did not want to breach 500,000.
The result was Saudi officials announcing plans to slash their prices and ramp up production, sparking worries of a Russian-Saudi Arabian price war. On the week, WTI crude futures fell 7.77% and Brent Futures fell 10.39%. Gasoline escaped the week falling just 0.47%, while heating oil dropped 7.07%. Natural Gas rebounded 1.42% on the week.
While stock and oil markets plummeted, precious metals gained on the tumultuous week, with the exception of palladium and its 1.51% fall. Gold climbed 6.75%, silver advanced 5.05%, and platinum rose 4.39%. Copper also gained on the week, up 1.06%.
Agricultural commodities were mixed; soybeans lost 0.35%, wheat dropped 2.24%, while corn gained 2.93%. Lean hogs gained 5.86%, while the futures market’s latte fell across the board, with coffee losing 4.09%, sugar losing 9.96%, and milk futures falling 3.59%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Ari Masters continued his dominance in the World Cup Trading Championships®, closing another week atop the leaderboard, this time closing with a net return of 2,177.9%. Michael O’Keeffe finished in second place, closing the week with a net return of 309.1%. Artur Teregulov broke into the top five with a net return of 156.1%, followed by Allen Swiontek and his 144% net return. Evgeny Kartashov rounded out the top five at a 130.6% net return.
Wayne Wan continued his lead of the Global Cup with a net return of 189.7%. Stefan Seibert finished in second place with a net return of 141.1%, followed by Michael Cook’s 131.1% net return. Fourth place went to Maxim Schulz thanks to a 120.6% net return, while Robert Miner claimed fifth place with a 92.2% net return.
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