Weekly Market Recap – August 27, 2021
According to a CDC report on Friday, 1,200 coronavirus deaths occurred in the U.S. in a 24-hour period, a fatality rate not seen since early March. At our press time for this end-of-week report, Hurricane Ida, the ninth named storm of 2021 was on track to make landfall in Louisiana as a category 4 or 5 event.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: new home sales 708,000 vs. 701,000, existing home sales 5.99 million vs. 5.86 million, durable goods orders -0.1% +0.8%, personal income +1.1% vs. +0.2%, and consumer spending +0.3% vs. +1.1%. Weekly initial jobless claims were 353,000 vs. last week’s 349,000.
After a jump-start on Monday, stocks advanced throughout the week. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite both had record closes on Friday. The former settled at 4,509.37 (+1.5%), while the latter went out at 15,129.50 (+2.8%). Rising 1.0% for the week, the DJIA ended at 35,455.80 (170 points shy of its all-time high reached on August 16). Volatility eased as the CBOE VIX declined 11.7%, finishing at 16.39 points. In currency markets, the U.S Dollar Index slipped to 92.68 (-0.8%). Commodities surged, as per the S&P GSCI’s 7.0% leap to 529.09, its biggest weekly move in fifteen months (+ 8.4% the week ending May 8, 2020).
Precious and base metals advanced. Their closing prices and percentage gains were as follows: gold at $1,819.50 (+2.0%), silver at $24.062 (+4.1%), platinum at $1,006.50 (+1.2%), palladium at $2,404.00 (+5.6%), copper at $4.3185 (+4.4%) and aluminum at $2,649.50 (+4.0%). Aluminum’s movement is the best year-to-date performance in the metals futures group (+33.8%).
The energy sector rallied across the board, mostly in response to Ida’s trajectory. Crude soared a fistful of dollars per barrel: WTI closed at $68.74 (+10.6%) and Brent got up to $72.70 (+11.5%). Those moves were +$6.60 and +$7.52, respectfully. Refined products followed suit, with ultra-low sulfur diesel settling at $2.1092 (+10.5%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.2742 per gallon (+12.4%). Natural gas catapulted to $4.388 per mmBtu (+13.5%), as market commentaries recalled the Katrina price spike of August and September 2005.
For the nine agricultural futures we track in our recap, as with the other categories reported above, all of the products in this grouping moved higher. The closing prices and percentage increases from the previous Friday were: soybeans at $13.23½ (+2.5%), corn at $5.53¾ (+3.1%), wheat at $7.32½ (+0.6%), coffee at $1.9220 (+5.9%), sugar at 20.04¢ (+2.3%), cocoa at $2,582 (+0.6%), cotton at 94.84¢ (+1.9%), live cattle at 129.125 (+0.1%), and lean hogs at 90.725 (+2.4%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||September|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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