Weekly Market Recap – April 22, 2022
Russia has proclaimed the fall of Mariupol; the Pentagon is sending Ukraine an additional $800 million in military aid for the second time in two weeks. As of Friday, the outcome of France’s election runoff between incumbent president Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen was too close to call; however, as we go to press, Macron has been declared the winner. Extreme wildfire weather is escalating across the western U.S.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous values were: housing starts (unchanged) 1.79 million vs. 1.79 million, existing home sales 5.77 million vs. 5.93 million, building permits (unchanged) 1.87 million vs.1.87 million, the index of leading economic indicators +0.3% vs. +0.6%. Regarding weekly stats, there were 184,000 initial jobless claims vs. 186,000 the prior week.
Friday’s stock market action was marked by the Dow’s 900-point plunge, its worst one-day fall since October 28, 2020. For the week, the DJIA lost 1.9% ending at 33,811.40 at the close. The two other indices we cover in our recap followed suit. The S&P 500 went out at 4,271.78 (-2.8%), and the NASDAQ Composite settled at 12,839,29 (-3.8%). Needless to say, volatility spiked, as evidenced by the CBOE VIX which ended at 28.21 (+24.3%). Driving the stock sell-off was heightened concern about rising interest rates after comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at further hikes to cool the economy and control inflation. Interest rate activity also affected currencies, with USD Index futures making new highs for the year again, going out at 101.213 (+0.9%). Commodities were a mixed bag according to the S&P GSCI futures portfolio; the index gave back half of the previous week’s gains, ending on Friday at 745.00 (-2.6%).
Throughout the week, the six metal futures we track here mostly weakened in varying degrees, and all but one (palladium) ended in the minus column. The final prices and corresponding percentage movements were: gold at $1,934.30 (-2.1%), silver at $24.259 (-5.6%), platinum at $927.40 (-6.7%), palladium at $2,376.30 (+0.9%), copper at 4.5815¢ per pound (-3.0%) and aluminum at $3,245.50 per ton (-1.2%).
As with the metals, the general direction of energies was also lower for five of the six contracts on our radar. The settlements and net weekly percentage changes were as follows: WTI crude at $102.07 per barrel (-4.1%), Brent crude at $106.65 (-4.5%), heating oil at $3.9386 per gallon (+2.2%), RBOB gasoline at $3.3050 (-2.3%), NYMEX natural gas at $6.534 per MMBtu (-10.5%), and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €94.875 per MWh (-0.8%).
The directional movements of the nine agricultural futures we monitor were mixed, with four decreasing and five increasing. The contracts that lost value were: wheat at $10.65½ (-2.8%), sugar at 19.24¢ (-4.1%), cocoa at $2,554 (-3.1%), and cotton at 139.46¢ (-1.8%). The gainers were: soybeans at $17.16 (+2.0%), corn at $7.93 (+0.3%), coffee at $2.2715 (+1.5%), live cattle at 138.425 (+1.5%), and lean hogs at 118.775 (+0.3%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||April|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||May|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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