Weekly Market Recap – July 16, 2021
COVID-19 cases are rising in all fifty U.S. states; Los Angeles reinstated its indoor mask mandate. Wildfires are raging throughout western North America, which is in its fourth consecutive heatwave. Nevada’s Lake Meade, the nation’s largest reservoir, has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded since the construction of Hoover Dam created the lake in 1936. This is severely impacting farm production throughout the Southwest. Historic rains in Europe have caused more than 120 deaths; Germany and Belgium have suffered the worst flooding in over a century.
Americans seeking unemployment insurance filed 360,000 claims, the lowest level yet reported during the pandemic. There were numerous other economic statistics were released. June CPI showed a 0.9% uptick, compared with a 0.6% rise in May. Producer prices were up 1.0% (vs. the prior month’s 0.8% increase). June retail sales increased 0.6% (vs. -1.7% in May). Wholesale inventories advanced 0.5% in May; the prior month’s report was a 0.1% rise. The capacity utilization rate is now 75.4% (vs. 74.1%). The monthly consumer sentiment index stands at 85.5, unchanged from the prior level. June’s federal budget showed a $174 billion deficit vs. -$864 billion in May.
Stock market indices took a breather from the recent weeks of new record highs, easing somewhat. For the week, the DJIA slipped 0.5% to 34,687.85, the S&P 500 decreased 1.0% to 4,327.16, and the NASDAQ went out at 14,427.24 with its 1.9% slide. Volatility returned to the exchanges and nudged CBOE’s VIX to pop up 14.0%, ending at 18.45 on Friday. The U.S. Dollar Index was firm, closing the week at 92.71 (+0.7%). The portfolio of commodities in S&P’s GSCI declined 0.7% to a 528.17 final print.
Of the six metal futures we focus on in our recap, two moved higher and four moved lower. The gainers were: gold at $1,815.00 (+0.2%) and platinum at $1,108.50 (+1.2%). The weaker contracts in the group closed as follows: aluminum at $2,488.50 (-0.5%), silver at $25.795 (-1.7%), copper at $4.3230, and palladium at $2,637.30 (-6.2%).
On the energy futures charts, the uptrend is breaking in the petroleum sector. For the week, NYMEX WTI fell to $71.81 per barrel, down 3.7%. ICE Brent dropped to 73.59 (-2.6%). U.S. refined products retreated, as well: Heating oil faded 1.9%, closing the week at $2.1133, and RBOB gasoline shaved off 1.7% to $2.2536 per gallon. Natural gas had an uneventful week, going out unchanged at $3.674 per mmBtu.
The agricultural products that we monitor showed steady strength. Of the nine futures on our roster, eight advanced, and one declined. Cocoa contracts lost value, closing at $2,320 per metric ton (-1.2%). For the gainers, closing prices and net weekly percentages were as follows: soybeans closed at $13.91¾ (+4.7%), corn at $5.52 (+6.8%), wheat at $6.92½ (+12.6%), coffee at $1.6135 (+6.5%), sugar at 17.71¢ per pound (+2.5%), cotton at 89.93¢ (+2.5%), live cattle at 120.175 (+0.8%), and lean hogs closed at 105.650 (+4.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||August|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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