Weekly Market Recap – December 3, 2021
New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are up 36% from a month ago. As of Friday, the Omicron variant had been detected in 10 states. The Fed’s intentions of addressing inflation may be evidenced by the Treasury yield curve flattening more; it is now at its narrowest in 11 months. The yield on the 10-year T-Note has slipped to 1.35%, and the 30-year T-Bond yield dipped to 1.69%, its lowest since January 4, 2021.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: Case-Shiller national home price index (year-over-year) 19.5% vs. 19.8%, the Chicago purchasing manager’s index 61.8 vs. 68.4, consumer confidence index 109.5 vs. 111.6, construction spending 0.2% vs. -0.1%, factory orders 0.1% vs. 0.5%, non-farm payrolls 210,000 vs. 546,000, unemployment rate 4.2% vs. 4.6%. Weekly initial jobless claims were 222,000 vs. last week’s 194,000.
The stock market indices we report in our recap retreated for the week. The DJIA slipped 0.9% to 34,580.08, the S&P 500 decreased 1.2% to 4,538.43, and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 15,085.47 with a 2.6% slide. Volatility persisted at the exchanges and caused CBOE’s VIX to spike 7.2%, ending at 30.67, its highest Friday close in 10 months (33.09 on January 29th). The U.S. Dollar Index was relatively stable, closing the week at 96.15 (+0.1%). The portfolio of commodities in S&P’s GSCI had its seventh consecutive down week, dropping 2.7% to its 525.15 Friday valuation.
Four of the metal contracts we track decreased, and two increased. Closing prices and percentage changes were as follows: gold at $1,783.90 (-0.2%), silver at $22.481 (-2.8%), platinum at $926.20 (-2.9%), copper at $4.2670 (-0.6%), and aluminum at $2,623.00 (+0.3%). With a Friday blip of unusual strength, palladium popped up a weekly 1.8%, ending at $1,812.60 per Troy ounce. This jump was the result of two situations. One was rolling of futures positions from the expiring December contracts into March. The other was related to the fact that spot palladium had been trading below the price of spot gold for about 10 days (which has not occurred since mid-2018.)
The energy futures we monitor in our recap were mostly lower for the week. Crude sold off nearly two dollars per barrel, as WTI closed at $66.26 (-2.8%) and ICE Brent slumped $69.88 (-2.4%). Refined products were mixed, with heating oil settling at $2.0984 (+0.4%) and RBOB gasoline at $1.9529 per gallon (-1.4%). Natural gas weakened, with the NYMEX front-month collapsing to $4.132 per mmBtu, down 24.6% since the previous Friday, and down 38.0% from its $6.667 high for the year, two months ago (Oct. 6th).
The nine agricultural futures on our radar were mixed in terms of directional movement, five decreased and four increased. The contracts that lost value were: corn at $5.84 (-1.3%), wheat at $8.03¾ (-4.3%), sugar at 18.75¢ (-3.1%), cotton at 104.20¢ (-6.8%), and live cattle at 138.950 (-1.6%). The gainers were: soybeans at $12.67¼ (+1.2%), coffee at $2.4335 (+0.2%), cocoa at $2,467 (+3.0%), and lean hogs at 81.500 (+0.6%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||January|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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