Weekly Market Recap – July 23, 2021
OPEC Plus, the group of 23 oil-producing countries, reached a deal to raise crude output. The barrels added to global supply amount to a production increase of about 2% by the end of the year. Wildfires continue to rage in western North America. In Southern Oregon, the Bootleg fire has burned over 340,000 acres (530 square miles) of forest and grasslands. Nationwide, there are now 250 COVID-19 deaths per day which is 42% higher than two weeks ago; 97% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. 83% of new COVID-19 cases are attributed to the Delta variant.
Unexpectedly, weekly jobless claims moved higher. Initial filings for unemployment insurance came in at 419,000 vs. the prior week’s 368,000. Wall Street analysts had forecast 348,000. Other items on the economic calendar were: housing starts for June at 1.64 million vs. 1.55 million in May, building permits at 1.60 million vs. 1.68 million, existing home sales at 5.86 million, compared with the previous 5.78 million, The index of leading economic indicators was 0.7% for June vs. 1.2% in May.
After a rough start on Monday, stocks rose four days in a row. All three stock market indices we track in our recap closed at record highs on Friday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 35,061.55 (+1.1%), S&P 500 at 4,411.79 (+2.0%), and the NASDAQ Composite at 14,836.99 (+2.8%). Despite the resurgence of the pandemic and its potential effects on the global economy, the DJIA’s penetration of 35,000 for the first time took its 2021 gain to 14%. The yield on the 10-year T-Note rebounded to 1.29% on Friday, after beginning the week at 1.13%, a five-month low. CBOE’s VIX retreated to 17.20, down 6.8% for the week. The U.S. Dollar Index crept higher to 92.90 (+0.2%), and the S&P GSCI inched to 532.48 (+0.8%).
Metals markets were mixed. Futures settlements and weekly changes were as follows: gold at $1,801.80 (-0.7%), silver at $25.233 (-2.2%), platinum at $1,061.40 (-4.2%), palladium at $2,662.40 (+1.0%), copper at $4.400 (+1.8%), and aluminum at $2,502.50 (+0.6%).
Energy commodities moved to the plus side. NYMEX WTI crude oil rose 0.7% to $72.07 per barrel, and ICE Brent also gained 0.7%, closing at $74.10 at week’s end. U.S. refined product futures improved, as well: heating oil closed at $2.1339 (+1.0%), and gasoline advanced 1.7% to $2.2913 per gallon. Natural gas continued to rally. Critically low water levels out west have forced utilities to switch from hydro-power to nat gas fired generation, creating unprecedented demand for the region. NYMEX Natural Gas futures jumped up 10.5%, ending at $4.060 per mmBtu, which is not only a new high for the August contract, but also the first time that the front-month has traded above $4.00 in over six years (January 2015).
In terms of directional movement, the nine agricultural futures we monitor were evenly mixed: four decreased, one was unchanged, and four increased. Soybeans closed at $13.51¾ (-2.9%). Corn and wheat slipped, with the former losing 1.6% ($5.43), and the latter decreasing 1.2% ($6.84 per bushel). Cotton gave back 0.3%, ending at 89.66¢ per pound. Cocoa sat on the fence in weekly terms at $2,321 per ton (0.0%). Livestock moved higher with live cattle firming to 121.500 (+1.1%) and lean hogs advancing to 107.350 (+1.6%). Sugar futures went out at 18.17¢ (+2.6%). Among the gainers, the star performer was coffee, skyrocketing 17.1% to $1.89 per pound, a six-and-a-half-year high.
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||August|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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