Weekly Market Recap – March 22nd, 2019

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Weekly Market Recap – March 22nd, 2019

In the Markets

The week started with the S&P 500 climbing to a new high for 2019 amid positive investor sentiment regarding U.S. Treasury yields and a dovish Fed. However, gains were wiped away on Friday, marking a 0.8% decline on the week for the S&P. The NASDAQ also fell, down 0.6%, while the Dow Jones dropped 1.3%.

On Wednesday, the Fed left interest rates unchanged, with no rate hikes scheduled for 2019 having lowered the GDP growth projection to 2.1%. While this dovish stance provided a boon to equity markets in the past, some have viewed the pivot from a previous plan of two 2019 work hikes as symptomatic of weakening global growth. Furthermore, the 10-year bond fell to 2.44%, its lowest mark of 2019, as the yield curve between it and the short term 3-month bill inverted on Friday for the first time since 2007.

In addition to the inverted yield curve, poor economic data out of Europe put downward pressure on markets. This included a lower Purchasing Managers Index, an indicator for the Eurozone manufacturing sector, as well as weakness in Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

WTI and Brent futures went in slightly opposite directions, with WTI crude up 0.89% on the week, while Brent fell 0.19%. Gasoline was up 3.67%, while heating oil only fell 0.1%. Natural gas marked its third straight week of loses, falling an additional 1.5% on the week.

Lean hogs futures continued their meteoric rise, up an additional 13.85% on the week as African Swine Flu (ASF) outbreaks impact hog farms across Asia. Reports suggest that China’s sow herd could be down 20 percent by the time ASF is controlled.

Precious metals posted gains across the board. Gold futures were up 0.72% while silver climbed 0.54%, but platinum lead the sector with a gain of 1.94% on the week.

Wheat and corn continued their gains, up 1.03% and 1.34% respectively, while soybeans cooled off, falling 0.58% on the week after recent gains. Flooding in the Midwest United States could push planting season to later dates.

World Cup Trading Championships

Eduardo Ramos again held onto first place, maintaining a net return of 117.1%. Jonathan Brum Da Silva took second place, finishing the week with a net return of 75%, while Andrei Balanescu held onto third place with a net return of 68.4%. The gap between third and fourth was again razor thin, as Fabien Fischer sat just 1.5% behind Balanescu, finishing the week with a net return of 66.9%. Fifth place featured a newcomer to the top 5, as Holly Springs Pharmacy, a U.S. based corporation, finished the week with a net return of 63.3%.

 

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