Weekly Market Recap – February 17, 2023

The Congressional Budget Office issued its forecast on Wednesday for a $19 trillion debt increase by 2033. The rising costs stem from projected interest payments, veterans’ health care, retiree benefits, and the military. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor, and U.N. ambassador announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of Scotland’s government and champion of Scottish independence from the UK, announced her planned resignation.

Monthly economic statistics released during the week, compared with the prior month, were as follows: consumer price index +0.5% vs. -0.1%, core CPI +0.4% vs. +0.3%, CPI (year-over-year) +6.4% vs. +6.5%, core CPI (year-over-year) +5.6% vs. +5.7%, producer price index (final demand) +0.7% vs. -0.2%, core PPI +0.6% vs. +0.2%, PPI (year-over-year) +6.0% vs. +6.5%, core PPI (year-over-year) +4.5% vs. +4.7%, retail sales +3.0% vs. -1.1%, retail sales excluding motor vehicles +2.3% vs. -0.9%, industrial production 0.0% vs. -1.0%, capacity utilization rate 78.3% vs. 78.4%, business inventories unchanged at +0.3%, building permits unchanged at 1.34 million, housing starts 1.31 million vs. 1.37 million and leading economic indicators -0.3% vs. -1.0%. There were no significant quarterly reports. Weeklies showed that initial jobless claims fell to 194,000 from 195,000 and continuing unemployment claims were 1.70 million vs. 1.69 million.

Stock indices were mixed as the DJIA ended the week at 33,826.69 (-0.1%), the S&P 500 finished at 4,079.09 (-0.3%), and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 11,787.27 (+0.6%). CBOE’s VIX retreated 2.5% with its 20.02 settlement. In currencies, USD Index futures gained 0.2%, with the March contract ending at 103.780 on Friday. Commodities in the S&P GSCI futures portfolio slipped 2.7%, lowering the index to 581.50 as the week ended.

Most of the metal futures we track in this recap moved higher. The final prices and corresponding percentage movements were: gold at $1,850.20 (-1.3%), silver at $21.715 (-1.6%), platinum at $921.40 (-3.2%), palladium at $1,492.50 (-2.1%), copper at $4.1085 (+2.3%), and aluminum at $2,387.50 per metric ton (-2.2%).

On the energy charts, all six of the futures on our watch list sold off. Settlement prices and percentage decreases were: WTI crude at $76.34 per barrel (-4.2%), Brent crude at $83.00 (-3.9%), heating oil at $2.7121 per gallon (-5.3%), RBOB gasoline at $2.4082 (-3.8%), NYMEX natural gas at $2.275 per mmBtu (-9.5%) and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €49.047 per MWh. (-9.1%). For the two gas markets, Friday’s settlements are end-of-week contract lows.

The contracts on our list of nine agricultural products ended the week with a score of four up and five down. The gainers were: coffee at $1.8575 per pound (+6.4%), cocoa at $2,722 per metric ton (+6.2%), live cattle at 164.650 (+0.4%), and lean hogs at 85.275 (+2.3%). Those in the red were: soybeans at $15.27¼ per bushel (-1.0%), corn at $6.77¾ (-0.4%), wheat at $7.65½ (-2.6%), sugar at 21.41¢ per pound (-0.8%), and cotton at 80.25¢ (-5.9%).


Futures Referenced in Market Recap

ExchangeCommodityContract Month
CMELive CattleApril
CMELean HogsApril
ICEBrent CrudeApril
ICEDutch TTF GasMarch
ICEUSD IndexMarch
NYMEXULSD (Heating Oil)March
NYMEXRBOB (Gasoline)March
NYMEXNatural GasMarch
LMEAluminum3 Mo. Forward

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

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