Weekly Market Recap – January 14, 2022
The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) has died at the age of 52. The benchmark began losing credibility in 2008, and the British Bankers Association announced in 2017 that it would ultimately be removed from use by the international banking industry. The last Libor deals were executed on Dec. 31, 2021, but longer-dated transactions will remain on the books until their respective expiration terms are met.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: federal budget -$21 billion vs. -$144 billion, business inventories +1.3% vs. +1.2%, retail sales -1.9% vs. +1.2%, industrial production -0.2% vs. +0.7%, capacity utilization 76.5% vs. 76.6%, and the producer price index rose 0.2% vs. +0.8%. The consumer price index rose 7.0% compared to +6.8%; it was the largest CPI jump in nearly four decades. Weekly initial jobless claims were 230,000 vs. the prior week’s 207,000.
As they had the previous week, all three of the stock indices we track here moved lower, but this week only slightly. Both the NASDAQ Composite and the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, with the former going out at 14,893.75 and the latter settling at 4,662.85. The DJIA closed at 35,911.81 (-0.9%). CBOE’s VIX inched up a bit to 19.19 (+2.3%). The U.S Dollar Index eased to 95.16 with a -0.6% decline. A leap in energy futures caused S&P’s GSCI to gain 3.2% and close at 596.75, its highest end-of-week close since late October.
The metals futures contracts we monitor were mostly stronger. Settlements and weekly percentage changes were: gold at $1,816.50 (+1.1%), silver at $22.918 (+2.3%), platinum at $964.60 (+0.8%), palladium at $1,878.20 (-2.3%), copper at $4.4205 (+0.2%) and aluminum at $2,976.50 (+2.1%).
The energy sector jumped, as previously noted. Crude oil gained more than four dollars per barrel, WTI closed at $83.82 (+6.2%) and Brent at $86.06 (+5.3%). Refined products rallied, as well, with heating oil ending Friday’s session at $2.6343 per gallon (+6.1%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.4190 (+5.2%). The brutal winter storm pummeling much of the U.S. helped natural gas spike 8.8%, taking the February contract to $4.262 per mmBtu, its highest price level since Thanksgiving week.
Of the nine agricultural contract prices on our radar, six increased, and three decreased. The losses were in grains: soybeans at $13.69¾ (-2.9%), corn at $5.96¼ (-1.7%), and wheat at $7.41½ (-2.2%). On the plus side were: sugar at 18.31¢ (+1.4%), coffee at $2.3965 (+0.5%), cotton at 119.70¢ (+4.0%), cocoa at $2,659 (+5.5%), live cattle at 137.975 (+0.5%), and lean hogs at 80.900 (+1.6%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||February|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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