Weekly Market Recap – December 30, 2022

On Thursday, President Biden signed the $1.7 trillion package to fund the government into next fall. In response to the G7’s $60 price cap on Russia’s oil, President Putin announced a ban on oil exports to any country that supported that pricing limit. This week saw an acceleration in Russia’s missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, as well as on civilian targets. Southwest Airlines resumed its service with minimal disruptions, after playing a key role in a debilitating transportation crisis. The average 30-year mortgage rate rose to 6.42% from 6.27%, after six consecutive weeks of decline, which, according to Freddie Mac, more than doubles the 3.11% average of a year ago.

The final week of the year had fewer than usual economic statistics. The S&P Case-Shiller home price index came in at -3.1% vs. -9.8% (on a year-over-year basis). Pending home sales for November dropped 4.0% in comparison to October’s -4.7%. The advance report for the U.S. trade in goods indicated a deficit of -$83.3 billion (vs. -$98.8 billion the prior month), and the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose to 44.9, exceeding the 37.2 level for the previous month. Weekly initial jobless claims were 225,000 vs. the previous 216,000, and continuing unemployment claims were 1.71 million vs. 1.67 million.

As the year rolled to a close, performance in the US stock market for 2022 was its weakest since 2008. For the indices we track, the annual losses were: DJIA -8.8%, S&P 500 -19.4%, and the NASDAQ Composite -32.4%. Our regular weekly changes were: DJIA at 33,147.25 (-0.2%), S&P 500 at 3,839.50 (-0.1%), and the NASDAQ Composite at 10,466.48 (-0.3%). Volatility ticked up a bit in equities, as reflected in the CBOE VIX rose to 21.67 (+3.8%). In currencies, USD Index futures went out at 103.269 (+2.2%). The commodities sector moved higher (+0.7%), according to the S&P GSCI’s 610.07 close.

Metals futures were mostly higher. In the contracts we monitor, closing prices and percentage movements were: gold at $1,826.20 per ounce (+1.2%), silver at $24.040 (+0.5%), platinum at $1,073.70 (+4.3%), palladium at $1,798.00 (+3.8%), copper at $3.8105 per pound (+0.04%) and aluminum at $2,378.00 per metric ton (-0.5%).

In recent weeks, energy markets continued the pattern of petroleum and methane trending in opposite directions, with the former advancing while the latter declined. Closing prices and their respective movements were as follows: WTI crude at $80.26 per barrel (+0.9%), Brent crude at $85.91 (+1.7%), heating oil at $3.3622 per gallon (+2.9%), RBOB gasoline at $2.4595 (+3.2%), NYMEX natural gas at $4.475 per MMBtu (-10.1%), and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €76.315 per MWh (-11.1%).

The contracts on our list of nine agricultural products ended the week with a mix of four up and five down. The gainers were: soybeans at $15.24 per bushel (+2.7%), corn at $6.78½ (+1.8%), wheat at $7.92 (+2.1%), and live cattle at 157.900 (+0.1%). Those in the red were: coffee at $1.6730 per pound (-2.7%), sugar at 20.04¢ per pound (-4.5%), cocoa at $2,600 per metric ton (-1.1%), cotton at 83.37¢ (-2.2%) and lean hogs at 87.700 (-0.1%).

 

Futures Referenced in Market Recap

Exchange Commodity Contract Month
CME Live Cattle February
CME Lean Hogs February
CBT Soybeans March
CBT Corn March
CBT Wheat March
ICE Coffee March
ICE Cocoa March
ICE Sugar March
ICE Cotton March
ICE Brent Crude March
ICE Dutch TTF Gas February
ICE USD Index March
NYMEX WTI Crude February
NYMEX ULSD (Heating Oil) January
NYMEX RBOB (Gasoline) January
NYMEX Natural Gas February
NYMEX Platinum January
NYMEX Palladium March
COMEX Gold February
COMEX Silver March
COMEX Copper March
LME Aluminum 3 Mo. Forward

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

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