Weekly Market Recap – January 27, 2023

On Monday, a massive grid failure of Pakistan’s aging power network created a nationwide outage; the entire population of 220 million people was without electricity for 18 hours. The US and Germany each announced Wednesday they would equip Ukraine with tanks, reversing their longstanding position of providing Kyiv with defensive, as opposed to offensive, armored vehicles. The US Postal Service has raised the price of a first-class stamp to 63¢ from 60¢ (+5.0%), which is a 1,050% increase over the 6¢ first class stamps of 45 years ago (January 1968).

Monthly economic statistics reported during the week compared with prior levels were: leading economic indicators -1.0% vs. -1.1%, durable goods orders +5.6% vs. -1.7%, core capital goods orders -0.2% vs. 0.0%, new home sales 616,000 vs. 602,000, pending home sales +2.5% vs. -2.6%, PCE price index unchanged at +0.1%, core PCE price index +0.3% vs. +0.2%, real disposable income +2.5% vs. +2.7% and real consumer spending -3.4% vs. -2.4%. Weekly labor department reports showed that initial jobless claims fell to 186,000 from 192,000 while continuing unemployment claims were 1.68 million vs. 1.66 million. Quarterly real gross domestic product (first estimate) rose 2.9% in Q4 vs. 3.2% in Q3.

Stock indices rose as the DJIA ended the week at 33,978.08 (+1.8%), the S&P 500 finished at 4,070.56 (+2.5%), and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 11,621.71 (+4.3%). CBOE’s VIX fell 6.8%, marking 18.51 at settlement. In currencies, the USD Index lost 0.1%, with the futures ending at 101.721 on Friday. Commodities in the S&P GSCI futures portfolio slipped by 1.2%, pushing the index to 608.90 at the week’s end.

The metals futures contracts we monitor were mixed. Settlements and weekly percentage changes were: gold at $1,929.40 (+0.1%), silver at $23.622 (-1.3%), platinum at $1,016.80 (-3.0%), palladium at $1,599.70 (-7.2%), copper at $4.2225 (-0.7%) and aluminum at $2,627.00 (+0.6%).

All of the energy futures on our radar tumbled lower. Here’s how they played out: WTI crude at $79.68 per barrel (-2.4%), Brent crude at $86.66 (-1.1%), heating oil at $3.1852 per gallon (-5.2%), RBOB gasoline at $2.5935 (-2.1%), NYMEX natural gas at $2.849 per MmBtu (-6.2%), and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €55.455 per MWh (-17.6%).

It was a great week for the bulls in agriculture futures, as all nine agricultural commodities we track here advanced. The numbers looked like this: soybeans at $15.09½ (+0.2%), corn at $6.83 (+1.0%), wheat at $7.50 (+1.1%), coffee at $1.6990 (+9.8%), sugar at 20.96¢ (+6.3%), cocoa at $2,627 (+2.3%), cotton at 86.89¢ (+0.2%), live cattle at 160.825 (+2.7%) and lean hogs at 86.450 (+11.1%).


Futures Referenced in Market Recap

Exchange Commodity Contract Month
CME Live Cattle February
CME Lean Hogs February
CBT Soybeans March
CBT Corn March
CBT Wheat March
ICE Coffee March
ICE Cocoa March
ICE Sugar March
ICE Cotton March
ICE Brent Crude March
ICE Dutch TTF Gas March
ICE USD Index March
NYMEX WTI Crude March
NYMEX ULSD (Heating Oil) March
NYMEX RBOB (Gasoline) March
NYMEX Natural Gas March
NYMEX Platinum April
NYMEX Palladium March
COMEX Gold February
COMEX Silver March
COMEX Copper March
LME Aluminum 3 Mo. Forward

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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