Weekly Market Recap – June 19, 2020
In the Markets
Recent data releases are giving investors signs that the reopening is stimulating the economy. Retail sales jumped 17.7% in May; the previous monthly change had been down 14.7%. Industrial production increased by 1.4% versus the negative 12.5% reported for April. 1.5 million jobless claims were filed, equal to the previous week’s figure. The national unemployment rate is now 13.3%, down from the 14.7% high in April, because 2 million people have returned to work. As for the US stock index group that we cover, all showed modest increases. The DJIA rose 265.92 for the week, ending at 25,871.46 (+1.0%); likewise, there was a 56.43 increase for the S&P 500 (+1.9%) closing on Friday at 3,097.74. NASDAQ’s composite index fared better, registering a weekly up move of 3.7% to 9,946.12, 357.31 higher, while the Russell 2000 scored a 2.52 advance to 113.85 (+2.3%). Volatility in equities has softened again; CBOE’s VIX eased last week to 35.12 for a 0.97 retreat of 2.7%.
Precious metal futures are moving sideways across the charts. Silver, which hit a three-month high a few weeks ago, seems to have lost its punch. It is still outshining the others, but in small increments. The July silver contract’s weekly move was +2.1%, rising 36½¢ to close at $17.847 on Friday. Gold continues to lag silver as it treads water, rising only 0.9% higher. August gold’s settlement was $1,753.00 after a $15.70 uptick. Platinum and palladium futures were mixed: the former closed at $827.30 while the latter ended the week at $1,908.40 per ounce. Their moves were +$8.30 (+1.0%) and -$30.10 (-1.6%), respectively. Base metals that we track in this recap maintained their hardly perceptible upward bias. CME copper went out at $2.6110/lb. (+0.4%), while LME aluminum closed the week 0.4% higher to close at $1,592.00 per metric ton.
The energy complex is still exhibiting unusual supply/demand anomalies. July WTI crude futures again tested the $40 level, but backed off to close at $39.75 per barrel, a $3.49 increase (+9.6%). Rising in tandem, Brent added $3.46 (+8.9%) to its price of $42.09 at settlement. Neither of them has filled the chart gap caused by the plunge in early March. As people and goods are moving again, and as businesses are more active, the refined petroleum products have continued to creep higher. ULSD fuel racked up a 10.0% increase for the week (+11.0¢/gallon), printing $1.2114 at the close. RBOB gasoline, which closed at $1.2716, is now 90% higher than it was on March 20th. By adding 14.73¢/gallon to its price for the week, it had rallied 13.1% from the previous Friday. Natural gas is also swimming in uncharted fundamentals, registering new contract lows last Tuesday. July natgas managed to ratchet up each day through to Friday. Its weekly drop was 3.6%, off 6.2 cents, closing at $1.669 per MMBtu.
In the agricultural product markets we cover, the week saw more red ink than green. July soybeans rose 5¼¢ last week (+5.2%) to close at $8.7650 per bushel. Corn increased 2½¢ (+0.8%) to $3.3250 at settlement. Wheat tumbled 20¾¢ (-4.1%) ending at $4.8125 for Friday’s close. ICE’s coffee contract differential tightened slightly: Robusta decreased by 3.0%, while Arabica slipped 1.5%, ending the week at $1,145 (down $36 per metric ton) and $0.9375 (down 1.45¢ per pound), respectively. Sugar crept up a bit, hovering below the 12¢ mark, as July added 3 ticks (+0.3%), closing at 11.90¢/pound. Cocoa declined 2.9%, settling $67 lower at $2,252 per ton. Cotton gained 1.72 (+2.9%) to 61.56 in the July contract. FCOJ settled at 119.05 after shedding 3.80 (-3.1%). Milk continued its strong rally to a new contract high, adding 2.64 (+14.2%), closing at 21.18 for the week. Milk futures are now 65% higher than the April low, when dairy farmers had no choice but to dump milk, due to the supply chain crisis caused by the pandemic. Livestock was mixed, as August hogs fell 3.4% (-1.85) to its 52.800 close, while cattle ended at 95.400 for August, inching up 0.075 (+0.0008%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Michael O’Keeffe has held the top position, based on the end of week standings, for the 10th week in a row with a 705.9% net return. Tim Hall maintained the 2nd spot with a net return of 258.6%. Yuwen Cao remained in 3rd with a net return of 247%. Stefan Seibert and Orhan Özcan rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 216.4% and 166.1% respectively.
In the Forex division, Raul Glavan held first at 109.5%, with Scott Welsh finishing the week in 2nd with a net return of 72%, followed by Jan Smolen at 49.9% net. Adrian Koemel and JWenChen Zhang rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 47.6% and 46.1% 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.