Weekly Market Recap – August 23rd, 2019
In the Markets
The week began with a rebound for U.S. equities, bouncing back from last week’s losses. Through Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 had gained 1.19%, punctuated by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole Speech, which many saw as alluding to a more dovish stance moving forward with Powell’s acknowledgement of a deteriorating global economy. Powell also said that the economy is close to both goals of price stability and full employment.
The speech quickly became overshadowed, however, as the U.S. China trade conflict continued to escalate. China announced 5-10% tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods in two batches to go into effect on September 1st and December 15th respectively, including a 25% tariff on U.S. automobiles. President Trump responded by calling U.S. companies to withdraw their presence from China. The new tariff development made waves in equity pricing as the S&P 500 experienced a single day loss of 2.59% on Friday, erasing its gains through Thursday and falling 1.44% on the week. The Dow Jones fell 1% on the week and the NASDAQ dropped 1.8%.
Precious metals made minor gains in the wake of the losses in equities. Gold climbed 0.92%, platinum advanced 1.04%, and palladium rose 0.81%. Silver was the strongest performer of the sector, with silver futures gaining 2.52%. Copper, however, possibly felt the reverberating impact of China’s new tariff announcement, falling 2.04% on the week.
Crude oil products broke from their typical behavior of moving together. Brent crude rose 1.19%, while WTI Crude dropped 1.28% on the week. Gasoline and heating oil also broke from one another for the second week in a row, as Gasoline dropped 0.85%, but heating oil gained 0.15%. Natural gas futures’ positive run was short lived, as they fell back down, losing 2.18%.
Soybeans, another key commodity in U.S.-China trade, fell 2.7% on the week. Corn also dropped on the week, falling 3.03%, but wheat managed a modest gain of 1.01%. Lean hogs futures continued their descent, losing 4.35% and dropping below $60/lb. for the first time since early March. Coffee, sugar, and milk all fell on the week. Coffee fell 0.27%, milk dropped 0.17%, and sugar dropped 1.46%.
World Cup Trading Championships
The leaderboard made it through the eventful week fairly unscathed. Durai Ramasamy maintained the lead with a net return of 230.5%. Holger Groechel remained in second place with a 171.7% net return followed by Takumaru Sakakibara’s 136.8% net return. Fabian Fischer held onto 4th place at a 104.4% net return, and Ryan Alderson rounded out the top 5 with his 71.7% net return.
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.