Weekly Market Recap – April 29, 2022
President Biden asked Congress to authorize $33 billion for weapons as well as economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. According to the U.N., more than 5.4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the fighting began. The CDC reported that COVID-19 has caused more than 990,000 deaths in the U.S.
The S&P Case-Shiller home price index came in at +19.8% vs. last month’s 19.1% (on a year-over-year basis). March new home sales dropped to 763,000 compared to 835,000 in February. Other monthly economic statistics were: durable goods orders +0.8% vs. -1.7%, consumer confidence index 107.3 vs. 107.6, personal income +0.5% vs. +0.7%, consumer spending +1.1% vs. +0.6%, the Chicago PMI fell to 56.4 vs. 62.9, and the advance report on U.S. international trade in goods was -$125.3 billion vs. -$106.3 billion, which increases the deficit by 17.9%. Quarterly reports showed the Q1 gross domestic product was -1.4% vs. +6.9% in Q4. Regarding weekly stats, there were 180,000 initial jobless claims compared with 185,000 the previous week.
April’s tumble in U.S. stocks was the worst monthly drop since March 2020. For the three indices we track, final prices and percentage moves from the previous Friday were: DJIA at 32,977.21 (-2.5%), S&P 500 at 4,131.93 (-3.3%), and the NASDAQ Composite at 12,334.64 (-3.9%). Volatility soared in equities, reflected in the CBOE VIX leaping to 33.40, an 18.4% spike. In currencies, USD index futures went out at 102.963 (+1.7%). The commodities sector climbed 1.4% according to the S&P GSCI, with its 755.56 close.
The metals contracts we monitor were mostly weaker. Settlements and weekly percentage changes were: gold at $1,911.70 (-1.2%), silver at $23.085 (-5.1%), platinum at $939.60 (+1.3%), palladium at $2,307.00 (-2.9%), copper at $4.4085 (-4.2%) and aluminum at $3,052.50 (-5.9%).
Futures we follow in the energy sector rallied across the board. Crude oil gained a couple of dollars per barrel, as WTI jumped to $104.69 (+2.6%) and Brent rose to $109.34 (+2.5%). In the refined products category, RBOB gasoline increased to $3.4424 per gallon (+4.8%), but ultra-low sulfur diesel skyrocketed 19.4%. settling at $4.0172 per gallon. It should be noted that the ULSD price (aka “heating oil” on NYMEX) is related to other petroleum distillates. Jet fuel, for instance, has doubled in the past two weeks and is now over $7 per gallon, an all-time high. When the pandemic nearly brought airline travel to a standstill in 2020, jet fuel traded around $1/gal. for several months. Wrapping up our energy review, natural gas prices shot up to another new eleven-year high (+8.7%) from the prior week’s close, with the spot contract ending at $7.244 per MMBtu. ICE TTF Dutch gas went out at €99.450 per MWh (+4.5%).
The contracts on our list of nine agricultural products ended the week with a score of three up and six down. Those in the red were: soybeans at $17.08¼ (-0.5%), wheat at $10.43¾ (-2.0%), coffee at $2.2255 (-2.0%), sugar at 19.15¢ (-0.3%), live cattle at 132.650 (-4.2%) and lean hogs at 106.375 (-10.4%). The gainers were: corn at $8.18¼ (+3.2%), cocoa at $2,567 (+0.5%), and cotton at 145.63¢ (+7.2%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||June|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||June|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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