Weekly Market Recap – August 6, 2021
Nationwide, the Delta variant has now driven the coronavirus new case rate to over 100,000 per day, the highest since November 2020; incentives are now being offered to encourage vaccinations. 50% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated. California’s 463,000-acre Dixie wildfire has grown to be the 2nd largest in the state’s history.
Monthly economic statistics for June, compared with May, were as follows: construction spending 0.1% vs. -0.2%, factory orders 1.5% vs. a 2.3%, the trade balance was a $75.7 billion deficit vs. -$71.0 billion, and consumer credit was $24 billion vs. $35 billion. Weekly initial jobless claims dropped to 385,000 vs. 399,000. July non-farm payrolls increased to 943,000 vs. June’s 938,000 new jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from the prior 5.9%.
Stock market indices maintained their upward trend: the Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 35,208.51 (+0.8%), S&P 500 at 4,436.52 (+0.9%), and the NASDAQ at 14,835.76 (+1.1%). CBOE’s VIX tumbled to 16.15, down 11.5% for the week, its lowest Friday close in over a month. The U.S. Dollar Index rose to 92.77 (+0.7%), and the S&P GSCI slid to 522.33 (-3.5%).
Prices retreated for the six metals futures in our recap. Settlements and weekly percentage changes were: gold at $1,763.10 (-3.0%), silver at $24.326 (-4.4%), platinum at $972.20 (-7.3%), palladium at $2,630.10 (-1.0%), copper at $4.3480 (-3.0%) and aluminum at $2,578.00 (-0.5%).
Crude oil contracts took a plunge, as NYMEX WTI ended Friday’s session at $68.28 (-7.7%), and ICE Brent declined 6.2%, to settle at $70.70 per barrel. Refined products retreated, as well. Heating oil lost 5.1%, closing at $2.0845 while RBOB gasoline fell 3.3%, settling at $2.2569 per gallon. Unlike the petroleum sector, natural gas had a robust up-week (+5.8%) going out at $4.140 per mmBtu, the highest since 2014.
Directional movement in the agriculture markets gave our list of nine products an overall score of six higher vs. three lower. The gainers were: corn, with it’s 2.1% rise to $5.56½, wheat at $7.19 (+2.2%), sugar at 18.68¢ (+4.3%), cocoa at $2,417 (+2.2%), cotton at 91.70¢ per pound (+2.6%), live cattle at 127.875 (+0.5%). The contracts that lost value were: soybeans at $13.36¾ per bushel (-0.9%), coffee 2.0% lower, closing at $1.7600/lb., and lean hogs went out at 87.600 (-0.5%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||September|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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