Weekly Market Recap – December 11, 2020
In the Markets
Jobless claims were sharply higher, coming in at 853,000, 18.4% higher than the average of 720,000 expected by Wall Street analysts. Consumer credit for October increased by $7billion, nearly half of September’s $15 billion. Wholesale inventories increased 1.1%, up slightly from the previous month’s 0.9% gain. CPI for November was up 0.2% vs. October’s zero change. The PPI for November rose 0.1%, compared with 0.3% from a month earlier. Stimulus talks are ongoing, as millions of Americans are in dire need. Coronavirus infection rates were up again. The US had its worst week since the pandemic started. Pfizer announced that vaccine shipments are on the way. UPS and FedEx will be delivering around the clock.
Equities indices struggled all week and closed with little change for the week. The DJIA fell a fractional 0.6% (down 171.89), going out at 30,046.37 on Friday. There was a 35.66 loss for the S&P 500 (-1.0%) closing at 3,663.46. The NASDAQ Composite index followed suit, sagging 0.7% (-86.36) to its 12,377.87 closing price. Holding some strength, the Russell 2000 firmed 1.1%, with a 1.62 rise to 153.71 points, a record end-of-week settlement. Volatility returned by 12.1%, as measured by the CBOE VIX, which added 2.52, ending at 23.31 for the week. In the currency market, the US Dollar Index stabilized with a small gain of 0.18 (+0.2%) to close at 90.98. In the broad picture of commodity markets, the S&P GSCI increased 5.18 (+1.3%), finishing at 393.72, a ten-month high.
Metals were relatively lackluster. In futures, gold gained slightly adding $3.60 last week, to end at $1,843.60 per ounce (+0.2%). Silver slipped 16.1¢ (-0.7%) to $24.092 in the March contract. Platinum ticked down $51.00 to close at $1,021.80 (-4.8%), and palladium’s $24.70 decline to $2,333.10 was 1.0% lower than the previous Friday. The base metals were flat, to down. CME copper gained 0.35¢ (-0.1%) settling at $3.5280 per pound, and LME aluminum ended the week at $2,022.50/ton, a decline of $21.50 (-1.1%).
On the charts, the petroleum complex maintained the upward trend. NYMEX crude oil prices booked an increase, as January WTI ended Friday’s session at $46.57, which was up 31¢ (+0.7.%). ICE Brent gained 72¢ (+1.5%), settling at $49.97 per barrel. The per-gallon price of heating oil added 3.39¢ to close at $1.4369 (+2.4%), while RBOB showed a bit more momentum, gaining 3.92¢ cents for the week, settling at $1.3077 (+3.1%). Spot natgas futures ended 1.6¢ higher for the week (+0.6%). Friday’s settlement was $2.591 per MMBtu.
Of the nine agricultural futures contracts we monitor for this report, six increased and three decreased. Wheat settled at $6.14½ per bushel, up 39¢ (+6.8%). Corn, with its $4.23½ close, rose 3¢ (+0.7%) for the week. Soybeans went out at $11.66, squeaking out a 1¢ gain (+0.1%). Livestock was mixed. Cattle added 0.850 during the week (+0.8%) to a 113.250 close, while hogs ended at 63.225 for February, dropping 3.345 (-5.0%). Coffee increased 4.05 (+3.4%) to 121.60 from the previous Friday. Sugar lost a tick (-0.1%) to its 14.43 settlement. Cocoa retreated $32 (-1.2%) for the week, closing at $2,622 per ton. March cotton advanced 2.51¢ (+3.5%) to its 74.08¢/lb. closing price.
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Stefan Seibert held 1st with a 351.7% net return. Michael O’Keeffe remained in 2nd with a net return of 261.8%. Yuwen Cao remained in 3rd with a net return of 223.2%. Brent Carlile and Evgeny Kartashov rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 193.9% and 165.8% respectively.
In the Forex division, Sergey Shirko held the top spot with a 125.4% net return. Jan Smolen held 2nd with a 102.3% net return, with Raul Glavan in 3rd with a net return of 88.5%. Scott Welsh and Irwan Ariston rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 77.7% and 37.2% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Stefan Seibert maintained first with a net return of 144.2%. M. Vontobel of Tirutrade AG held 2nd with a 129.1% net return. 3rd place is currently held by Cristian Franchi with a net return of 124.3%. Fernando C. Piñeiro and Jan Smolen finished the week in 4th and 5th with 91.5% and 87.8% net returns respectively.
Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. World Cup Championship (WCC ) accounts do not necessarily represent all the trading accounts controlled by a given competitor. WCC competitors may control accounts that produce results substantially different than the results achieved in their WCC accounts. WCC entrants may trade more than one account in the competition. CME Group is the trademark of CME Group, Inc. The Globe logo is a trademark of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.