Weekly Market Recap – February 4, 2022
The U.S. Treasury Department reported on Tuesday that the national debt has surpassed $30 trillion. Monthly economic statistics compared with prior levels, were as follows: the Chicago purchasing managers index rose to 65.2 vs. 64.3, construction spending +0.2% vs. +0.6%, factory orders -0.4% vs. +1.8%, job openings 10.9 million vs. 10.8 million, job quits 4.3 million vs. 4.5 million. Non-farm payrolls were 467,000 vs. 510,000. The December number of 510,000 was a revision from the 199,000 originally reported. In addition, the November number was revised to 647,000 from 249,000. Together, this updated data extrapolates to 6.6 million jobs returning during the period from January 2020 through January 2021, amounting to 87% of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic. The January unemployment rate rose 4.09% vs. December’s 3.9% increase. Weekly initial jobless claims were 238,000 vs. 261,000.
Meta, the stock formerly known as Facebook, fell more than 26% on Thursday. This loss, the largest one-day drop in U.S. stock market history, amounted to nearly $250 billion. By Friday’s close, investors had regained some composure, and the weekly change for the broad indices we track was a bit on the plus side. The DJIA ended the week at 35,089.74 (+1.0%), the S&P 500 finished at 4,500.53 (+1.5%), and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 14,098.01 (+2.4%). CBOE’s VIX settled at 23.22 (-16.1%), and the U.S Dollar Index slid 1.8%, ending at 95.47 on Friday. The commodities in the S&P GSCI futures portfolio kept to their steady uptrend, going out at 643.01 (+3.7%).
Precious and base metal futures were mixed. Their closing prices and percentage movements were as follows: gold at $1,807.80 (+1.2%), silver at $22.475 (+0.8%), platinum at $1,024.20 (+1.7%), palladium at $2,290.70 (-3.6%), copper at $4.4875 (+4.1%) and aluminum at $3,074.00 (-0.3%).
On the energy futures charts, strength persisted in the petroleum sector. For the week, NYMEX WTI leaped to $92.31 per barrel, up 6.3%. ICE Brent rallied to 93.27 (+5.8%). U.S. refined products also rose: heating oil gained 6.0%, closing the week at $2.8751, and RBOB gasoline added 5.5% to $2.6785 per gallon. Natural gas soared during the first few days of the week, hitting prices not seen in three months, then headed south as the U.S. temperature forecasts for mid to late February returned to normal. Nearby futures closed at $4.572 per mmBtu (-1.4%).
Of the nine agricultural contract prices we report, seven rose and two retreated. Those in the red were: corn at $6.20½ (-2.4%) and wheat at $7.63¼ (-2.9%). The gainers were: soybeans at $15.53½ (+5.7%), coffee at $2.4185 (+2.5%), sugar at 18.23¢ (+0.2%), cocoa at $2,668 (+7.0%), cotton at 126.74¢ (+2.4%), live cattle at 146.875 (+2.6%) and lean hogs, which skyrocketed 13.8% into triple digits, closed at 100.075, a new high for the April contract on strong fundamentals.
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||March|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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