Weekly Market Recap – July 30, 2021
2021’s second-quarter growth was reported at 6.5%, as measured by gross domestic product. This slight increase from the Q1 GDP of 6.3% takes the U.S. economy above its pre-pandemic level. Weekly Initial jobless claims dropped to 400,000 vs. 424,000. Monthly June statistics, compared with May, were as follows: New home sales were 676,000 vs. 724,000, durable goods orders were up 0.8% vs. a 3.2% rise, personal income rose 1.1%, an improvement over the prior 2.2% drop, and consumer spending was up 1.0% vs. the previous 0.1% decline.
On Wednesday, details of The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal circulated through the media: $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects, $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $65 billion for broadband, $39 billion for public transit, $17 billion for ports and waterways, and $46 billion to help states and cities prepare for the consequences of climate change.
Stock market indices held their ground. The benchmarks we track all poked into new record-high territory during the week, but eased a bit on Friday. For the week, the DJIA slipped 0.4% to 34,935.47, the S&P 500 also decreased 0.4%, ending at 4,395.26, and the NASDAQ went out at 14,672.68 with its 1.1% slide. Volatility picked up somewhat and pushed CBOE’s VIX 6.0%, ending at 18.24 on Friday. The U.S. Dollar Index came off to 92.09 (-0.9%). The basket of commodity futures in S&P’s GSCI increased 1.6% to a 541.12 close.
Of the six metal futures we focus on in our recap, four moved higher and two moved lower. The gainers were: gold at $1,817.20 (+0.6%), silver at $25.547 (+1.2%), copper at $4.4825 (1.9%), and aluminum at $2,591.50 (+3.5%). Aluminum has not traded this high since February 2011. The two weaker contracts closed as follows: platinum at $1,048.40 (-1.2%) and palladium at $2,656.20 (-0.2%).
On the energy futures charts, the uptrend returned in the petroleum sector. For the week, NYMEX WTI advanced to $73.95 per barrel, up 2.6%. ICE Brent increased to 75.41 (+2.7%). U.S. refined products strengthened, as well: heating oil gained 2.8%, closing the week at $2.1956, and RBOB gasoline rose 3.3% to $2.3347 per gallon. Natural gas sold off for the week, going out at $3.914 per mmBtu (-3.2%) on forecasts for milder U.S. temperatures.
Of the nine agricultural futures we monitor, five decreased, one was unchanged, and three increased. Soybeans closed at $13.49¼ (-0.2%). Both corn and wheat rose, with the former gaining 0.4% to $5.45¼, and the latter rallying 2.9% to $7.03¾ per bushel. Coffee finally had a correction from its recent meteoric rise, giving back 5.0% to $1.7955 per pound. Sugar futures went out at 17.91¢ (-1.4%). Cocoa firmed to $2,366 per ton (+1.9%). Cotton slipped 0.3%, ending at 89.39¢ per pound. Cattle prices were flat, settling at 127.200 (0.0%). Hogs took a 5.0% dive, closing at 88.025 in the final session of the week.
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||September|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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