Weekly Market Recap – July 15, 2022
Inflation topped the headlines this week as soaring U.S. consumer prices hit levels not seen in 40 years, thus prompting more concerns about the anticipated rise of interest rates.
COVID-19 is creeping back to the forefront in national news as cases are now multiplying in more than half the counties across the U.S. According to the CDC, Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is causing increased hospitalizations. The Washburn Fire in central California, having already scorched 4,700 acres, is renewing the threat of destroying the historic sequoia trees in the region. Unprecedented summer temperatures in Europe have caused scores of wildfires in Portugal, Spain, and France. President Biden took his first trip to the Middle East since taking office.
As noted above, the inflation news, embodied by the year-over-year CPI, was 9.1% higher than a year ago, compared with last month’s +8.6%. The monthly CPI was +1.3% vs. +1.0%. Other monthly economic statistics versus the prior levels were: retail sales +1.0% vs. -0.1%, industrial production -0.2% vs. 0.0%, capacity utilization 80.0% vs. 80.3%, and the consumer sentiment index was 51.1 vs. 50.0. Weekly initial jobless claims rose to 244,000 vs. 235,000. Continuing unemployment claims fell to 1.33 million vs. 1.37 million the previous week.
After declining four days in a row, the stock market indices we track snapped back on Friday. The weekly results showed the DJIA slipping to 31,288.26 (-0.2%), the S&P 500 coming off 0.9%, settling at 3,863.16, and the NASDAQ Composite going out at 11,452.42 (-1.6%). CBOE’s VIX declined a bit to 24.23 (-1.7%). In currencies, USD Index futures inched up to 107.911 (+1.0%). S&P’s GSCI lost 5.6%; the portfolio of commodity contracts closed at 658.47, its lowest end-of-week price since late February.
All of the metal futures we report dropped across the board. Settlements and corresponding percentage decreases were: gold at $1,703.60 (-2.2%), silver at $18.594 (-3.3%), platinum at $830.90 (-5.9%), palladium at $1,829.40 (-15.2%), copper at $3.2340 (-8.2%), and aluminum at $2,343.00 (-3.8%).
Energy contracts ended mixed after a volatile week. NYMEX WTI closed at $97.59 per barrel (-6.9%), with Brent crude at $101.16 (-5.5%). The refined products diverged as heating rose 0.7% to $3.6990, while RBOB gasoline slid 6.8% to $3.2132 per gallon, 20% from its high a month ago. The U.S. and European natural gas prices are still going in opposite directions, with the NYMEX price soaring to $7.016 per MMBtu (+16.3%), as the ICE Dutch gas price plunged to €159.567 per MWh (-8.9%).
For the nine agricultural markets that we monitor, the score was four higher and five lower. End-of-week results were: soybeans at $13.42¼ (-3.9%), corn at $6.03¾ (-3.2%), wheat at $7.76¾ (-12.9%), coffee at $1.9980 (-9.4%), sugar at 19.25¢ (+1.2%), cocoa at $2,321 (+0.1%), cotton at $88.71¢ (-7.2%), live cattle at 134.925 (+0.7%), and lean hogs at 109.825 (+0.6%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||August|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||August|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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