Weekly Market Recap – December 23, 2022

Ukraine’s President Zelensky visited Washington, where he held meetings with President Biden and top administration officials, and delivered an address to a joint session of Congress to ask for more military support. The Senate passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill, to avert a government shutdown. The bill now heads to the House where it is expected to pass. It also provides for nearly $50 billion in aid to Ukraine. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $1.7 billion in fines and an added $2 billion in damages for years of violations in consumer loans. It is the largest penalty ever imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Deadly winter storms battered nearly two dozen US states and brought transportation to a standstill. As of press time, 18,000 flights have been canceled. Overbooking led rail and bus operators to turn back thousands of passengers. At one point more than a million utility customers were without power. The national storm-related death toll is 49, with more than half in western New York.

Monthly economic statistics reported during the week compared with prior levels were: new home sales 640,000 vs. 605,000, existing home sales 4.09 million vs. 4.43 million, housing starts unchanged at 1.43 million, building permits 1.34 million vs. 1.51 million, durable goods orders -2.1% vs. +0.8%, PCE price index +0.1% vs. +0.4%, consumer confidence index 108.3 vs. 101.4 and the index of leading economic indicators -1.0% vs. -0.9%. Weekly labor department reports showed that initial jobless claims rose to 216,000 from 214,000, while continuing unemployment claims were 1.67 million vs. 1.68 million. Quarterly gross domestic product (revision) rose 3.2% in Q3 vs. 2.9% in Q2, real domestic income (revision) improved 0.8% vs. 0.3%.

Stock indices were mixed as the DJIA ended the week at 33,203.93 (+0.9%), the S&P 500 finished at 3,844.82 (-0.2%), and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 10,497.86 (-1.9%). CBOE’s VIX retreated 7.7% with its 20.87 settlement. In currencies, USD Index futures lost 0.3%, with the contract ending at 104.010 on Friday. Commodities in the S&P GSCI futures portfolio rallied by 3.0%, pushing the index up to 605.79 as the week ended.

Strength persisted across the board for the futures on our metals list. Closing prices and percentage increases were as follows: gold at $1,804.20 (+0.2%), silver at $23.920 (+2.5%), platinum at $1,029.60 (+3.0%), palladium at $1,732.00 (+1.5%), copper at $3.8090 (+1.3%) and aluminum at $2,389.50 (+0.6%).

Once again, the energy commodity subcategories moved in opposite directions. The petroleum sector soared, while the methane sector plunged. Closing prices and their respective movements were as follows: WTI crude at $79.56 per barrel (+6.8%), Brent crude at $83.92 (+6.2%), heating oil at $3.2661 per gallon (+4.7%), RBOB gasoline at $2.3836 (+11.8%), NYMEX natural gas at $5.079 per MmBtu (-23.0%), and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €82.977 per MWh (-28.1%).

As for the agricultural commodities we cover, it was a great week for the bulls, with all nine contracts advancing. The numbers looked like this: soybeans at $14.84½ (+0.1%), corn at $6.66¼ (+2.0%), wheat at $7.76 (+3.0%), coffee at $1.7200 (+4.6%), sugar at 20.98¢ (+4.4%), cocoa at $2,628 (+6.2%), cotton at 85.21¢ (+4.0%), live cattle at 157.750 (+1.3%) and lean hogs at 87.825 (+2.4%).


Futures Referenced in Market Recap

ExchangeCommodityContract Month
CMELive CattleFebruary
CMELean HogsFebruary
ICEBrent CrudeFebruary
ICEDutch TTF GasJanuary
ICEUSD IndexMarch
NYMEXWTI CrudeFebruary
NYMEXULSD (Heating Oil)January
NYMEXRBOB (Gasoline)January
NYMEXNatural GasJanuary
LMEAluminum3 Mo. Forward

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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