Weekly Market Recap – July 31, 2020
In the Markets
According to a Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) release on Thursday, the US economy contracted at a record rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020. The weekly jobless report showed another increase, with 1.43 million Americans filing new claims. On Friday, Fitch announced a lowered outlook for its US government credit rating to “negative” from “stable” due to higher budget deficits. Also on Friday, BEA reported that consumer spending rose 5.6% in June. Congress is starting to hammer out the next round of pandemic stimulus programs as the brink of income crisis looms over 25 million unemployed workers.
Equities investors maintained their confidence, despite the historic GDP plunge. Although the DJIA was down for the week, the other three indices we cover in this recap were in the plus column. The DJIA booked a 0.2% decrease of 41.57 points to close at 26,428.32 for the week. The S&P added 55.49 points to end the week at 3,271.12 (+1.7%). An up move of 382.09 points to 10,745.27 for the NASDAQ Composite amounted to a 3.7% weekly gain. The Russell 2000, adding 1.09 points (+0.9%), settled at 118.82 on the close. CBOE’s VIX eased 1.38 as the volatility benchmark softened to 24.46 (-5.3%). Still falling for six consecutive weeks, the US Dollar Index ended down 0.89 points, to settle at 93.45 (-0.9%), the lowest that the index has closed in over two years (92.55 on May 7th, 2018). S&P’s GSCI declined 0.6% to 339.82 (-2.18) on Friday.
The yellow metal kept up a steady pace, heading for the $2,000 target, as gold futures rose $60.70 (+3.2%), and ended the week at $1,985.90 in the December contract. Silver rallied $1.37 (+6.0%) closing at $24.216 on Friday. Platinum lost $37.10 (-3.9%) to $918.90 and palladium moved lower by $148.80 (-6.5%) to $2,145.30 per troy ounce. Base metals were slightly mixed, as CME copper retreated 2.45¢ (-0.8%) settling at $2.8680 per pound. LME aluminum ended the week at $1,713.50/ton, a gain of $13.50 (+6.2%).
Energy futures ended July with weekly setbacks, as September WTI closed at $40.27, which was down $1.02 (-2.5%). ICE Brent eased 0.6%, losing $0.26 to settle at $43.52 per barrel. Refined products retreated, as well. Heating oil lost 3.92 cents to close at $1.2171 (-3.1%), while RBOB gasoline lost 9.77 cents, settling at $1.1871 (-7.6%). Natural gas traders took a breather from the heat wave hype, selling the Septembers down to end the week at $1.799 per MMBtu. The percentage move was a 3.6% loss for the week and a 22.4% loss year-to-date.
In the ag sector, the most actively traded markets declined from the prior Friday’s levels. Wheat settled at $5.31¼ per bushel, down 8¼¢ (-1.5%). Corn, with its $3.27 close, lost 8¢ (-2.4%) for the week. Soybeans went out at $8.92½ after declining 6¾¢ (-0.8%). Softs showed strength, mostly on the back of the weakening US dollar, with coffee up 10.55 to 118.95 (+9.7%) from the previous Friday. Sugar popped over the 12¢ level, rallying 1.15¢ (+10.0%) to its 12.64 settlement. Cocoa, for the week, added $176 (+7.9%), closing at $2,400 per ton. December cotton advanced 2.56¢ (+4.3%) to its 62.66 settlement price. Livestock was mixed, as cattle futures advanced 1.500 (+1.5%) to a 102.825 close, while hogs ended at 52.000 for August, losing 2.000 (-3.7%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Michael O’Keeffe has held the top position, based on the end of week standings, for the 16th week in a row with a 471.7% net return. Orhan Özcan held the 2nd spot with a net return of 287.2%. Yuwen Cao maintained 3rd with a net return of 229%. Stefan Seibert and Stefano Serafini rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 195.7% and 177.8% respectively.
In the Forex division, Nicholas Ridley claimed the top spot with a 171.4% return. Raul Glavan moved down to 2nd at 104.7%, with Jan Smolen finishing the week in 3rd with a net return of 103.5%. Patrick Nill and Sergey Shirko rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 72.4% and 64% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Adrian Koemel has taken first with a net return of 63.9%, with Stefan Seibert following in 2nd at 39.2%. 3rd place is currently held by Jan Smolen with a net return of 34.4%. Tobias Baerlin and M. Vontobel of Tirutrade AG are in 4th and 5th at 31.9% and 29.9% respectively.
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.