Weekly Market Recap – July 17, 2020
In the Markets
This past week, the Department of Commerce report showed that retail sales rose 7.5% in June; this was largely attributed to online consumer purchasing of summer clothing. Another major factor was that Americans were returning to re-opened restaurants. According to the Fed’s report, June industrial production showed the largest percent increase (+5.4%) since 1959. In context though, February and March saw the greatest drops in factory output since World War II. Actual numbers were well below their normal pre-pandemic levels. The Department of Labor reported that 1.3million people filed for first-time unemployment benefits; which was the 17th straight week that the unemployment claims filing number exceeded 1 million.
For the first time in five weeks, the NASDAQ Composite, one of the four stock indices we follow in this recap, underperformed the other three in their weekly movements. It lost 1.1% (down 114.25) to settle at 10.503.19 on Friday. The S&P 500 added 1.2% from its 39.69 point rise to 3,224.73 at the close. The 596.65 rally to 26,671.95 for the DJIA boosted the index by 2.3% for the week. Percentage-wise, the Russell 2000 fared best with its 4.36 advance (+3.8%) to 118.20 at week’s end. However, when measured on a year-to-date basis, the NASDAQ Composite remains the only one of the group that is in positive territory (+17.1%). The CBOE Volatility index marked its lowest close in six weeks, with its 25.68 close on Friday. In global currency markets, the US dollar continues to be under pressure, as the spot index saw its lowest weekly close (96.01) since January 28th, 2020 (95.61). Regarding the commodity segment of the financial markets, the S&P GSCI was statistically unchanged (-0.1%) losing 0.45 with its 337.45 final value.
Precious metals keep inching higher, with silver outpacing gold. The spot bullion gold-to-silver ratio is at its lowest level (93.6) since February 27th (91.3), prior to its meteoric rise in March, when the all-time high of 123.5 was reached on the 19th. In futures, gold gained slightly adding $8.10 last week, ending at $1,810.00 per ounce (+0.4%). Silver rose 63.2¢ (+3.3%) to $19.685 in the September contract. Platinum ticked up $3.70 to close at $849.60 (+0.4%), and palladium’s $77.30 gain to $2,071.70 was a 3.9% increase. The base metals were flat, to down, for the week. The two we track here, diverged, as CME copper gained 0.7¢ (+0.2%) settling at $2.9045 per pound, and LME aluminum ended the week at $1,661.50/ton, a decline of $27.00 (-1.6%).
Oil prices barely budged, with WTI futures adding a mere $0.04 for the week, a +0.1% increase to $40.59 per barrel. Brent futures closed at $43.14 on Friday, down $0.10 (-0.2%) for the week. Refined products eased, as heating oil decreased 221 points (-1.8%) to 1.2191, and gasoline lost 586 points (-4.62%) to 1.2245 at the close. Some analysts consider gasoline’s demand drop to be a result of many states shifting into reverse on their reopening course. Lately, the weather has been the main driver for natural gas. Now, the heatwave is “in the market”. On the charts, Friday’s $1.718 natgas price has dropped 50% of the range from the recent high ($1.924 on July 7th) and the contract low ($1.517 on June 25th/26th). The current price is 4.8% lower than the prior week.
The grains and oilseeds were mixed. Corn’s $3.39¾ settlement was a loss of 4.00¢ per bushel (-1.2%), soybeans rose 4.25¢ (+0.5%) to its $8.95 close and wheat added 0.1%, settling at $5.34¾, up ¾¢. Coffee has finally bounced out of its doldrums as September Robusta futures soared last week to $1,293 per ton (+8.0%) and Arabica jumped 5.8% ending at $1.0230/pound in Friday’s session. Sugar slid a bit after traders failed to hit the 12¢ mark again, as October eased 3 ticks (-0.3%), closing at 11.73¢ per pound. Cocoa was unchanged (0.0%), settling at $2,160 as it did a week ago. Cotton declined 2.37 (-3.7%) to 61.94 in the December contract. Milk retreated 30 points (-1.5%), closing at 19.98 for the week. Livestock strengthened, as August hogs advanced 5.9% (+2.925) to its 52.800 close, while cattle ended at 103.275 for August, rising 3.275 (+3.3%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Michael O’Keeffe has held the top position, based on the end of week standings, for the 14th week in a row with a 496.4% net return. Orhan Özcan held the 2nd spot with a net return of 284.5%. Yuwen Cao maintained 3rd with a net return of 209.9%. Stefan Seibert and Stefano Serafini rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 186.5% and 166.3% respectively.
In the Forex division, Raul Glavan held first at 112.3%, with Jan Smolen finishing the week in 2nd with a net return of 71.3%, followed by Scott Welsh at 58.8% net. Robert Miner and Adrian Koemel rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 52.8% and 44.8% respectively.
(Through May 29 – Final Results Pending Audit) The Top 5 Global Cup Finalists are Stefan Seibert in 1st at 210.7% net, Michael Cook in 2nd at 171.7% net, Maxim Schulz in 3rd at 156.2%, Robert Miner in 4th at 134.4%, and Wayne Wan in 5th at 113.2% net.
Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. World Cup Championship (WCC ) accounts do not necessarily represent all the trading accounts controlled by a given competitor. WCC competitors may control accounts that produce results substantially different than the results achieved in their WCC accounts. WCC entrants may trade more than one account in the competition. CME Group is the trademark of CME Group, Inc. The Globe logo is a trademark of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.