Weekly Market Recap – February 18, 2022
On Friday, President Biden said he is convinced Russian President Putin has decided to invade Ukraine and target the capital city of Kyiv. Stating that it could happen in the “coming days”, he cited U.S. intelligence as his source.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: the producer price index +1.0% vs. +0.4%, retail sales +3.8% vs. -2.5%, business inventories +2.1% vs. +1.5%, industrial production +1.4% vs. -0.1%, capacity utilization 77.6% vs. 76.6%, building permits 1.90 million vs.1.89 million, housing starts 1.64 million vs. 1.71 million, existing home sales 6.50 million vs. 6.09 million, and leading economic indicators -0.3% vs. +0.7%. Weekly initial jobless claims rose to 248,000 vs. 225,000 in the previous report.
The stock market indices we follow sold off from the previous Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,079.18 (-1.9%) the S&P 500 gave back 1.6%, trading 4,348.87 at the close, and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 13,548.07 (-1.8%). CBOE’s VIX settled at 27.75 (+1.4%). In currencies, the USD Index ticked a bit higher for the week, closing at 96.10 (+0.1%). Commodity prices, as measured by the portfolio of futures listed in the S&P GSCI, ended the week at 643.59 (+0.1%).
In metals futures, all six of the contracts on our radar moved higher. The settlements and corresponding percentage movements were: gold at $1,899.80 (+3.1%), silver at $23.992 (+2.7%), platinum at $1,076.80 (+5.7%), palladium at $2,337.90 (+6.6%), copper at $4.5195 (+0.3%), and aluminum at $3,262.50 (+4.0%). Gold hasn’t traded this high since early June, when it last topped $1,900 per ounce.
Energy futures in the petroleum sector corrected from their two-month rally. NYMEX WTI fell 2.9%, closing at $91.07, IPE Brent settled at $93.54, losing 1.0%, heating oil tumbled 4.4% to $2.7815 and RBOB gasoline dropped 2.5% to $2.6696 per gallon. Natural gas, the only non-petroleum energy contract that we cover, jumped 12.4% to close the week at $4.431 per mmBtu, mostly due to another frigid blast in the U.S. forecasts.
In terms of directional movement, the nine agricultural futures we monitor were mixed, with six decreasing and three increasing. The contracts that lost value were: wheat at $7.97 (-0.1%), coffee at $2.4685 (-1.9%), sugar at 18.20¢ (-0.3%), cocoa at $2,573 (-7.0%), cotton at 122.99¢ (-1.8%), and live cattle at 145.875 (-0.2%). The gainers were: soybeans at $16.01½ (+1.2%), corn at $6.54¼ (+0.5%), and lean hogs at 109.400 (+7.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||March|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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