Weekly Market Recap – January 21, 2022
The news of the week, in addition to the ongoing pandemic coverage, the weather, and the economy, is now also focused on Russia’s plans concerning Ukraine.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day shortened the business week, which saw a shorter than usual list of economic statistic reports. These, compared with prior levels, were: NAHB home builders index 83 vs. 84, building permits 1.87 million vs. 1.72 million, housing starts 1.70 million vs. 1.68 million, existing-home sales 6.18 million vs. 6.48 million, and leading economic indicators +0.8% vs. +0.7%. Weekly initial jobless claims rose to 286,000 vs. 231,000 in the previous report.
The three stock market indices we track in this recap all took a dive this week. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite each had their greatest weekly percentage losses since March 2020: the former closed at 4,397.94 (-5.7%) and the latter ended at 13,768.92 (-7.6%). The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a 4.6% setback (its largest drop since June 2020), going out at 34,265.37 on Friday. Volatility exploded by 50.3% from the previous Friday, as the CBOE VIX booked a close of 28.85 points. FX markets nudged up the dollar as higher U.S. Treasury rates continue to attract currency investors; the U.S. Dollar index rose to 95.63 (+0.5%). Commodity inflation continues, as the S&P GSCI portfolio climbed to 608.88 at the week’s end (+2.0). This basket of major physical commodity futures has more than doubled since the coronavirus pandemic began.
In metals futures, all six of the contracts we cover showed strength. The settlements and corresponding percentage increases were: gold at $1,831.80 (+0.8%), silver at $24.320 (+6.1%), platinum at $1,035.10 (+7.3%), palladium at $2,104.30 (+12.0%), copper at $4.5240 (+2.3%), and aluminum at $3,040.50 (+2.2%). Aluminum last traded above $3,000 per metric ton in mid October.
Most of the energy futures on our radar ended in the black for the week. WTI crude closed at $85.14 (+2.2%), and Brent rose to $87.89 (+2.1%). Refined products also increased, with heating oil settling at $2.6912 (+2.2%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.4424 per gallon (+1.0%). Natural gas ended in the red at week’s end, sliding 6.2% to $3.999 per mmBtu. Again, weather forecasts influenced traders as the consensus for nat gas consuming regions reverted to seasonal average temperatures.
Six of the nine agricultural products we monitor moved higher and three of them decreased. Soybeans gained 3.2% to $14.14¼ per bushel, and corn firmed 3.4%, going out at $6.16¼. Wheat rallied to $7.80 (+5.2%). Coffee fell to $2.3790 per pound (-0.7%), sugar bounced 3.2%, ending the week at 18.90¢/lb., cocoa declined 3.1% to $2,576 per ton, and cotton crept up to 120.75¢/lb. (+0.9%). Livestock futures were mixed, as live cattle contracts slipped slightly to 137.925 (-0.04%), while lean hogs led the ag markets on our list by soaring 6.6% to an 86.200 settlement price, their highest trading level since last August.
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||February|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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