Weekly Market Recap – February 12, 2021
In the Markets
Thursday’s jobless claims report came in at 793,000, compared with the previous week’s revised figure of 812,000; the average expectation by Wall Street analysts was 760,000. The Consumer Price Index for January was up 0.3% vs. 0.2% for December. Wholesale inventories for December rose 0.3%; the November number had been 0.0%. Business formations rose 43% in January, in contrast to December’s 12% decline. 150 million people in the U.S. are preparing for an onslaught of winter storm activity that is expected to bring the coldest temperatures in a decade to some regions. A new study suggests that the UK variant of COVID-19 may be up to 70% deadlier than other variants.
Once again, the stock market indices rose to new record highs. The largest percentage movement was in the Russell 2000, as it was the previous week. It ended at 183.55 (+2.5%). The NASDAQ Composite went out at 14,095.47 (+1.7%), and the S&P 500 added 1.2%, ending at 3,943.83 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 31,458.40 after its 1.0% rise. CBOE’s VIX settled at 19.97 (-4.3%), its first dip below 20.00 in fifty-one weeks. It closed at 17.08 on 2/21/2020. The U.S. Dollar Index eased a bit (-0.6%) with 90.44 its final Friday valuation. Most commodity prices remained strong, as per the S&P GSCI, adding 3.0% to end the week at 463.95, its highest level since October 2018.
As for the metals, the futures we follow in this recap were all gainers: gold ended at $1,823.20 (+0.6%), silver settled at $27.328 (+1.1%), platinum shot up 11.1%, hitting $1,259.00 per ounce, after reaching a six-year high a few days earlier. Palladium rose 2.4% to close at $2,382.60, its highest level in two months. Base metal price increases were 4.5% for copper ($3.7880 per pound) and 4.7% for aluminum ($2,089.50 per metric ton.)
Lower oil production news propelled the crude benchmarks to advance sharply. WTI futures at NYMEX rallied to $59.47 (+4.6%) and ICE Brent leaped to $62.43 (+5.2%). NYMEX refined products followed, with heating oil rising 3.4%, closing the week at $1.7714, and RBOB gasoline adding 2.6% to $1.6925 per gallon. Natural gas saw only a slight increase (0.5%), closing out the week at $2.876 per mmBtu.
In the agricultural futures, our usual nine products were mixed in their directional movement: five of them firmed, while four declined. Soybeans closed at $13.72 (+0.4%). Corn and wheat slipped: with the former losing 1.8% ($5.38¾), and the latter decreasing 0.7% ($6.36¾ per bushel). The other Ags on the minus side were sugar and cocoa. May sugar futures went out at 15.64¢ (-0.4%) and May cocoa settled at $2,433/ton (-1.6%). The other gainers closed the week as follows: cotton at 87.27¢ (+5.5%), cattle at 125.175 (+1.1%) and hogs at 85.200 (+6.1%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In the 2021 World Cup Trading Championships® Futures division, Adrian Koemel finished the week in 1st with a 52.3% net return. Jurg Diemand took 2nd with a net return of 39.5%. Andre Betz finished 3rd with a net return of 34.7%. Marek Chrastina and Chun Chi Timothy Ma rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 33% and 32.7% respectively.
In the 2021 World Cup Trading Championships® Forex division, Robert Miner finished the week in 1st with a 58% net return. Sergey Shirko took 2nd with a 39.9% net return, followed by Erik Gandino taking 3rd with a net return of 35.4%. Michele Di Gregorio and Lorenzo Misino rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 30.3% and 23% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Stefan Seibert finished the week in 1st with a net return of 177.6%. Jan Smolen finished the week in 2nd with a 169.4% net return. 3rd place is currently held by M. Vontobel of Tirutrade AG with a net return of 79.7%. Adrian Koemel and Andrei Balanescu finished the week in 4th and 5th with 73% and 69.1% 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.