Weekly Market Recap – February 26, 2021

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Weekly Market Recap – February 26, 2021

In the Markets

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package was passed in the House. A panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. Initial jobless claims declined to 730,000 vs. the previous week’s 841,000 applications. Other economic statistics, compared to their prior levels, were as follows: the consumer confidence index was 91.3 vs. 88.9, durable goods orders for January were 3.4% vs. December’s 1.2%, January core capital goods orders were 0.5% (unchanged from December’s figure). Personal income for January grew by 10%, a huge improvement over the 0.6% uptick reported for December. Consumer spending rose 2.4% vs. the prior month’s decline of 0.4%. The monthly index of leading economic indicators advanced 0.5% compared with 0.4% the prior month.

On Thursday, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield briefly topped 1.6%, trading at its highest level in more than a year, raising concerns for investors. All four stock market indices we track here declined for the week. The greatest percentage drop was the NASDAQ Composite’s 4.9% down-move to 13,192.34. The Russell 2000 had a weekly decrease of 3.1%, ending its Friday session at 176.06. The S&P 500 closed at 3,811.15 (-2.4%), and the DJI fell the least (-1.8%), ending at 30,932,337. CBOE’s VIX soared 26.8% as option premiums swelled, taking the volatility index to 27.95 at the close. In currency markets, higher interest rates boosted the U.S. Dollar Index up +0.6%, hitting 90.92 at the week’s end. Commodities, in general, are still advancing, as evidenced by the S&P GSCI. This diversified portfolio of futures closed at 476.98 (+1.5%), its highest end-of-week level in nearly two and a half years.

All the precious metals futures we cover in our recap weakened, settling as follows: gold at $1,728.80 (-2.7%), silver at $26.402 (-3.1%) and palladium at $2,310.10 (-2.5%). Platinum had the steepest decline in the precious sector, hitting $1,185.30 (-8.3%). The industrial metals managed to stay in positive territory, with copper at $4.0945 (+0.5%) and three-month aluminum at $2,152.00 (+1.0%).

In energy markets, crude oil kept rising, as NYMEX WTI reached $61.50 (+3.8%) and ICE Brent climbed to $64.42, gaining 3.7%. Refined products also increased. RBOB gasoline firmed to $1.8770 (+3.9%) and heating oil, the weakest in the petroleum group, added only 1.8%, as demand expectations in the northeast subsided, due to warmer weather forecasts. This led the March contract to drop to 1.8565 per gallon. A higher temperature outlook on the horizon also affected natural gas, which lost 9% from contract highs two weeks ago. Futures took a 7.4% dive from the prior Friday, ending the week at $2.771 per MMBtu.

Among the nine agricultural products featured here, gainers outnumbered losers (6 to 3). Soybeans closed at $14.05¼ (+2.0%), wheat edged up 0.7%, ending the week at $6.55, while corn settled at $5.55½ (+2.3%). Coffee’s strength was due to crop issues in Brazil; the May contract shot up to 137.50 (+6.5%). Cocoa prices moved up sharply by 6.5%, to 2½-month highs, ending at $2,604 per metric ton, possibly linked to reports of increasing demand for chocolate. Sugar’s path was downward for the week, with May futures settling at 16.45¢ per pound (-2.6%). Cotton prices also saw some slippage (-1.8%), as May’s final price for the week was 88.83¢ per pound. Livestock futures prices converged. Cattle declined to an even 120.00 (-3.0%), while hogs increased to its 87.150 close (+3.1%).

Current Standings​

2021 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®
1 Kevin McCormick 120.2% United States
2 Jurg Diemand 98.5% Switzerland
3 Nikolai Dmitriev 73.2% Russia
4 Stefan Seibert 724% Germany
5 Graeme Adams 58.9% New Zealand

January 1, 2021 – June 10, 2021

2021 World Cup Championship of Forex Trading®​
1 Patrick Nill 202.4% Germany
2 Sergey Shirko 178% Latvia
3 Adrian Koemel 70.6% Germany
4 Robert Miner 69.1% United States
5 Erik Gandino 65.5% Italy

January 1, 2021 – June 10, 2021

2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship​
1 Jan Smolen 246.6% Slovakia Futures
2 Stefan Seibert 222.7% Germany Futures
3 Marek Chrastina 182.4% Slovakia Futures
4 Patrick Nill 125.7% Germany Futures
5 Maxim Schulz 78.8% Germany Futures

June 1, 2020 – May 28, 2021 – Final Pending Audit

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.

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