Weekly Market Recap – April 1, 2021

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Weekly Market Recap – April 1, 2021

In the Markets

Initial jobless claims came in at 719,000 compared with 658,000 the previous week; yet, the monthly non-farm payrolls tally showed an improvement with 675,000 in March vs. 379,000 for February. The overall unemployment rate is now 6.0% vs. 6.2% a month ago. The consumer confidence index gained from the last reported level, leaping from 90.4 to 109.7 in a month’s time. Construction spending dipped from +1.2% in February to -0.8% in March. Some analysts attributed the drop to severe weather impacting construction projects. According to the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, January’s home price level was an 11.2% increase (on a year-over-year basis), compared with the 10.4% February number. This was the eighth consecutive month of rising home prices, the highest rise in 15 years (+14.5% in September 2005). On Thursday, President Biden revealed details of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. The U.S. coronavirus vaccination rate is now surpassing three million doses per day.

With the 2021 first-quarter ending on Wednesday, and Easter weekend shortening the week to a Thursday close, the stock indices we report all moved higher. Only the DJIA and the S&P 500 made record highs. For the week, the DJIA rose 0.2% to 33,153.21 (+7.8% Q1). The S&P 500 increased 1.1% to 4,019.87 (+5.8% Q1). The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.6% to 13,480.11 (+2.8% Q1), and the Russell 2000 added 1.5% to 180.62 (+12.6% Q1). CBOE’s VIX settled at 17.33 (-8.1%). The U.S. Dollar Index ended the week at 92.89 (+0.2%), and the GSCI was unchanged (0.0%) at 474.02 on Thursday. For their first quarter improvements, the Dollar Index strengthened 3.6%, while the GSCI soared 14.2%.

Five of the six metal futures we focus on in our recap were weaker. End-of-week closing prices were as follows: gold at $1,728.40 (-0.4%), silver at $24.948 (-0.7%), platinum at $1,208.60 (+2.3%), palladium at $2,655.80 (-0.8%), copper at $3.9904 (-1.9%) and aluminum at $2,213.00 (-3.7%).

In the energy futures contracts, the charts show mixed, sideways moves in the petroleum segment. NYMEX WTI added 0.8% to $61.45 per barrel. Likewise, Brent crude increased 0.7%, ending at $64.86 on Thursday. U.S. refined products went a bit lower: heating oil lost 2.1%, closing the week at $1.7713, and RBOB gasoline eased 0.7% to $1.9533 per gallon. Natural gas continued to inch higher, firming by 0.8%, taking the May futures to $2.639 per mmBtu.

Directional movement in the agriculture markets gave our list of nine products an overall score of three higher vs. six lower. The gainers were: Soybeans at $14.02 per bushel (+0.1%), corn 1.3% higher closing at $5.59¾, and lean hogs went out at 101.775 (+1.0%). The contracts that lost value were: coffee, with it’s 5.4% drop to 121.60, sugar at 14.71¢ (-3.2%), cocoa at $2,392 (-2.7%), cotton at 77.95¢ per pound (-3.0%), live cattle at 120.025 (-0.1%), and wheat slipped 0.4% for the week, settling at $6.11 per bushel.

Current Standings​

2021 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®
1 Kevin S McCormick 218.3% United States
2 Nikolai Dmitriev 166.2% Russia
3 Jürg Diemand 166.1% Switzerland
4 Graeme Adams 94.2% New Zealand
5 Kevin Davey 86.9% United States

January 1, 2021 – September 17, 2021

2021 World Cup Championship of Forex Trading®​
1 Raul Glavan 256.2% Germany
2 Patrick Nill 253.8% Germany
3 Cristian Franchi 190.1% Italy
4 Sergey Shirko 181.1% Latvia
5 Robert Miner 113.2% United States

January 1, 2021 – September 17, 2021

2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship​
1 Jan Smolen 247.6% Slovakia Futures
2 Stefan Seibert 222.7% Germany Futures
3 Marek Chrastina 182.4% Slovakia Futures
4 Patrick Nill 125.7% Germany Futures
5 Maxim Schulz 78.8% Germany Futures

June 1, 2020 – May 28, 2021 – Final Pending Audit

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. CME Group is the trademark of CME Group, Inc. The Globe logo is a trademark of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.

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