Weekly Market Recap – May 12, 2023

President Biden and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy met for negotiations about the debt ceiling; they failed to reach a consensus amid the looming default but have agreed to meet again. The coronavirus public health emergency, declared by the Trump administration in 2020, expired on May 11, which moved the U.S. government into a new phase of the pandemic era. The health rule known as Title 42 was terminated. Since March 2020, the U.S. has used its Title 42 powers to expel people who crossed into the country illegally. The lifting of Title 42 means that the US government will return to which includes decades-old immigration legislation known as Title 8. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned that this would carry more severe consequences for migrants found to be entering the country unlawfully. Concerns for how this may affect the U.S. farming industry have been a topic of discussion, as it relies heavily on migrant labor.

Monthly economic statistics released during the week, compared with the prior month, were as follows: consumer price index +0.4% vs. +0.1%, core CPI unchanged at +0.4%, CPI (year-over-year) +4.9% vs. +5.0%, core CPI (year-over-year) +5.5% vs. +5.6%, producer price index +0.2% vs.- 0.4%, core PPI unchanged at +0.2%, PPI (year-over-year) +2.3% vs. +2.7%, core PPI (year-over-year) +3.4% vs. +3.7%, import price index +0.4% vs. -0.6% (the first monthly gain this year), consumer sentiment index 57.7 vs. 63.5 (a six month low) and wholesale inventories unchanged at 0.0%. Weekly numbers showed initial jobless claims rose to 264,000 from 242,000 and continuing unemployment claims were 1.81 million vs. 1.80 million. There were no significant quarterly reports.

Stock markets were less volatile than the last few weeks and ended mixed. For the three indices we track, Friday’s ending levels and weekly net percentage moves were: DJIA at 33,300.62 (-1.1%), S&P 500 at 4,124.08 (-0.3%), and the NASDAQ Composite at 12,284.74 (+0.4%). The CBOE VIX eased to 17.03 (-0.9%). In currencies, USD Index futures rose to 102.509 (+1.5%). As per the S&P GSCI, the commodities sector was 1.2% lower than the previous Friday, slipping to 538.90 at the close.

Metals futures were mostly higher. In the contracts we monitor, closing prices and percentage movements were: gold at $2,019.80 per ounce (-0.2%), silver at $24.154 (-6.8%), platinum at $1,067.00 (-0.1%), palladium at $1,513.80 (+1.8%), copper at $3.7285 per pound (-4.0%) and aluminum at $2,231.50 per metric ton (-3.8%).

On the energy charts, the four petroleum sector contracts on our roster were mostly lower, while the two methane sector futures we track moved in opposite directions. For the week, the final numbers looked like this: NYMEX WTI at $70.04 per barrel (-1.8%), Brent crude oil at $74.17 (-1.5%), heating oil at $2.3055 per gallon (-0.4%), RBOB gasoline at $2.4302 (+2.2%), NYMEX natural gas at $2.266 per MMBtu (+6.0%), and ICE Dutch TTF gas at €32.767 per MWh (-10.4%).

The futures on our list of nine agricultural products ended the week with a score of three up and six down, The gainers were: cocoa at $2,986 per metric ton (+1.8%), live cattle at 164.400 (+1.5%), and lean hogs at 84.100 (+0.4%). Those in the red were: soybeans at $13.90 per bushel (-3.2%), wheat at $6.35 (-3.8%), corn at $5.86¼ (-1.7%), coffee at $1.8285 per pound (-2.8%), sugar at 26.22¢ per pound (-0.4%) and cotton at 80.53¢ (-4.0%).


Futures Referenced in Market Recap

Exchange Commodity Contract Month
CME Live Cattle June
CME Lean Hogs June
CBT Soybeans July
CBT Corn July
CBT Wheat July
ICE Coffee July
ICE Cocoa July
ICE Sugar July
ICE Cotton July
ICE Brent Crude July
ICE Dutch TTF Gas June
ICE USD Index June
NYMEX WTI Crude June
NYMEX ULSD (Heating Oil) June
NYMEX RBOB (Gasoline) June
NYMEX Natural Gas June
NYMEX Platinum July
NYMEX Palladium June
COMEX Gold June
COMEX Silver July
COMEX Copper July
LME Aluminum 3 Mo. Forward

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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