Weekly Market Recap – February 5, 2021
In the Markets
The U.S. Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill, as the nationwide toll from the disease reached 460,582 deaths, with 2,820 new deaths cited on Friday.
Initial jobless claims were reported at 779,000 vs. 812,000 in the previous week’s release; Wall Street analysts had expected an average of 830,000. January’s non-farm payroll figure came in at an increase of 49,000 vs. December’s 227,000 decrease. As a monthly percentage, the unemployment rate in January was 6.3%, an improvement from December’s 6.7%. With the Commerce Department’s report on the balance of trade for December, the monthly addition to the deficit made 2020’s change a 17.7% rise for the year. The $679 billion deficit is the highest since 2008. December factory orders rose 1.1% vs. +1.0% for November.
Of the stock market indices that we track here, the largest weekly percentage move was +7.9% for the Russell 2000, ending at 179.07, a record high. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite also closed at record levels, with the former at 3,886.83 (+4.6%) and the latter settling at 13,856.30 (+6.0%). The DJI increased the least (+3.9%), going out at 31,148.24 on Friday. Volatility crashed 36.9% after the option premiums dwindled in the components of the CBOE VIX that settled at 20.87, the lowest close since early December. The U.S. Dollar Index continues to strengthen (+0.5%), hitting 91.00, its highest Friday close in ten weeks (91.78 on Nov. 27, 2020). Commodities are advancing, as evidenced by the S&P GSCI, with the index’s basket of futures closing the week at 450.61, which is up 4.6% for the week, registering its highest end-of-week level since April 2019.
The metals futures in our coverage were mostly higher for the week, settling as follows: silver ended at $27.019 (up 0.4%), platinum at $1,133.00 (up 5.0%), palladium at $2,326.30 (up 5.3%), copper at $3.6260 (up 2.0%) and aluminum at $1,995.00 (up 0.9%). Only gold lost ground, with the February contract easing 1.9%, to close the week at $1,813.00 per ounce.
The energy futures sector is in rally mode. Crude oil benchmarks jumped, as WTI soared to $56.85 (up 8.9%) and Brent shot up to $59.34 with its 7.8% surge, both hitting pre-pandemic levels. Refined products rose to their highest prices in eleven months: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel gained 7.2%, closing the week at $1.7137 and RBOB gasoline climbed 6.2% to $1.6493 per gallon. The percentage leader in the sector was natural gas, skyrocketing 11.7% to $2.863 per MMBtu for its end-of-week price.
Gainers outnumbered losers in the agricultural futures featured here. Of the nine on our list, three were in the minus column: soybeans, wheat and cocoa. The beans closed at $13.66¾ (down 0.2%), wheat slid 3.3%, ending the week at $6.41¼ per bushel, while cocoa’s decline was marginal, slipping only 0.2%, easing to $2,472 per metric ton. The others in the group closed as follows: corn at $5.48½ (+0.3%), coffee at 126.65 (+1.3%), sugar at 15.70¢ (+4.1%), cotton at 82.74¢ (+2.6), cattle at 123.775 (+1.6) and hogs at 80.300 (+4.8%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In the 2021 World Cup Trading Championships® Futures division, Adrian Koemel finished in 1st with a 52.3% net return. Alex Barrow took 2nd with a net return of 51.7%. Stefan Seibert took 3rd with a net return of 31.6%. Daniel Grymyr and Liberato Adamo rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 27.2% and 22.8% respectively.
In the 2021 World Cup Trading Championships® Forex division, Raul Glavan finished in 1st with a 46.2% net return. Robert Miner took 2nd with a 43.2% net return, followed by Sergey Shirko taking 3rd with a net return of 36.6%. Erik Gandino and Lorenzo Misino rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 31.3% and 22.3% 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 174.4%. Jan Smolen finished the week in 2nd with a 154% 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 52.6% 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.