Weekly Market Recap – August 13, 2021
The Senate passed the $3.5 trillion blueprint of President Biden’s infrastructure plan. The U.S. began staging troop deployment for an evacuation mission in response to the Taliban insurgency against the Afghan government. Eight U.S. states now account for 51% of the nation’s coronavirus hospitalizations: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas.
Monthly economic statistics for July, compared with June, were as follows: the consumer price index +0.5% vs. +0.9%, producer price index +1.0% (unchanged from the prior month), the federal budget balance was a $302 billion deficit vs. -$68 billion. Weekly initial jobless claims dropped to 375,000 vs. last week’s 387,000.
Stock markets moved higher for most of the week. Of the three benchmarks we track, the DJIA and S&P 500 ended at record highs: the former at 35,515.38 (+0.9%) and the latter at 4,468.00 (+0.7%). The NASDAQ slipped slightly by 0.1% with its 14,822.90 close. Volatility eased, as the CBOE’s VIX fell to 15.45 (-4.3%). The U.S. Dollar Index slipped a bit, closing the week at 92.52 (-0.3%). The portfolio of commodities in S&P’s GSCI firmed 0.5% to 524.74 at week’s end.
Most of the metal futures we focus on in our recap moved lower. The weaker contracts were gold at $1,778.20 (-2.1%), silver at $23.779 (-6.9%), platinum at $1,026.00 (-2.1%) and copper at $4.3915 (-2.0%). Palladium managed to increase slightly (by only 30¢ per ounce) to $2,656.50 (+0.01%). Aluminum for 3-month delivery on the LME gained 0.9% for the week, closing at $2,600 per metric ton. Aluminum has not traded this high in 10 years; it had reached $2,694 in April 2011.
On the energy market charts, natural gas broke its recent up-trend as U.S. temperature forecasts cooled to normal levels. The August contract fell 6.7% to $3.861 per mmBtu. On the other hand, the petroleum sector corrected with a bounce from recent selloffs and then ended the week mixed. Settlements and percentage changes were as follows: WTI crude at $68.44 per barrel (+0.2%), Brent crude at $70.59 (-0.2%), ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel at $2.0779 per gallon (-0.3%), and RBOB gasoline at $2.2626 (+0.3%).
Eight of the nine agricultural products on our radar advanced with one negative move: lean hogs, closing at 86.525 (-1.2%). The gainers were: soybeans at $13.65 (+2.1%), corn at $5.73 (+3.0%), wheat at $7.62¼ (+6.0%), coffee at $1.8275 (+3.8%), sugar at 19.95¢ (+6.8%), cocoa at $2,547 (+5.4%), cotton at 94.32¢ (+2.9%), and live cattle at 128.125 (+0.2%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||September|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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