Weekly Market Recap – December 23, 2021
U.S. coronavirus pandemic statistics have been monopolizing the news. Nationwide, the seven-day moving average for COVID-19 related deaths reached 1,481 (up 22% from a week ago). New cases averaged 176,829 (a 40% increase from the previous week), and hospitalizations rose 3% to an average daily admission level of 69,886, which has been complicated by healthcare staffing shortages. Staffing also became a factor in transportation, as U.S. airlines have canceled hundreds of flights; and foreign-based carriers have scratched a couple of thousand flights.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous values were: the index of leading economic indicators +1.1% vs. +0.9%, durable goods orders +2.5% vs. +0.1%, existing home sales $6.46 million vs. $6.34 million, new home sales 744,000 vs. 662,000, consumer confidence index 115.8 vs. 111.9, personal income rose 0.4% vs. 0.5%, consumer spending 0.6% vs. 1.4%, core inflation was unchanged at 0.5%. On a year-on-year basis, core inflation was 4.7% vs. 4.2%. Quarterly reports showed the Q3 gross domestic product rose 2.3% vs. 2.1% in Q2, and gross domestic income for Q3 was 5.8% vs. the prior 6.7% in Q2. Regarding weekly stats, there were 205,000 initial jobless claims, unchanged from the previous week.
The stock market indices we track moved higher: the S&P 500 finished with an all-time high at 4,725.79 (+2.3%). The DJIA went out at 35,950.56 (+1.7%) and the NASDAQ Composite rose 3.2% for the shortened pre-holiday week, ending at 15,653.37 on Thursday. Volatility subsided in equities, reflected in the CBOE VIX falling to 17.96, a 16.7% drop. In currency markets, the dollar softened, as the U.S. Dollar Index closed at 96.06 (-0.5%). The commodities sector climbed 3.3% according to the S&P GSCI, settling at 558.34, its highest end-of-week close in five weeks.
Strength persisted in metals futures. Settlements and percentage increases were: gold at $1,811.70 (+0.4%), silver at $22.940 (+1.8%), platinum at $975.10 (+4.3%), palladium at $1,956.90 (+9.6%), copper at $4.3925 (+2.3%) and aluminum at $2,837.00 (+4.1%).
Futures we follow in the energy sector rebounded across the board. Crude oil gained a few dollars per barrel, as WTI jumped to $73.79 (+4.3%) and Brent rose to $76.14 (+3.6%). Refined products followed suit, with ultra-low sulfur diesel settling at $2.3314 (+5.0%) and RBOB gasoline increasing to $2.2061 per gallon (+4.0%). Natgas prices stabilized from their recent tumble, inching up by 1.1% from the prior week’s close, with the spot contract closing at $3.731 per mmBtu.
Of the nine agricultural contract prices we report, seven advanced and two retreated. Those in the red were coffee at $2.3120 (-1.5%) and cocoa at $2,473 (-1.0%). The gainers had the following settlements and percentage moves: soybeans at $13.32 (+3.6%), corn at $6.05¾ (+2.1%), wheat at $8.14¾ (+5.1%), sugar at 19.24¢ (+0.7%), cotton at $1.0912 (+1.7%), live cattle at 139.625 (+2.3%) and lean hogs at 83.225 (+3.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||January|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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.