Weekly Market Recap – May 14, 2021
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped again: 473,000 initial jobless claims were filed, compared with 507,000 the previous week. The federal budget for April showed a $226 billion deficit vs. $738 billion in March. Other economic statistics, compared with their prior level were as follows: April retail sales had 0.0% change (vs. +10.7% in March), industrial production +0.7% (vs. +2.4%), capacity utilization is at 74.9% (vs. 74.4%), March business inventories were +0.3% (vs. +0.6% in February). However, the headline stats were the two major price indices that carried inflationary implications. Producer prices were up 1.0% vs. the prior month’s 0.5% increase. That rise was twice the level that Wall Street economists expected. Consumer prices jumped 0.8% for April, the highest monthly jump in over a decade.
Coinciding with the abovementioned inflation pressures, stock market indices took a breather from their month-long rallies, easing a few percentage points. For the week, the DJIA slipped 1.1% to 34,382.13, the S&P 500 decreased 1.4% to 4,173.85, and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 13,429.98 with its 2.3% slide. Volatility returned to the exchanges and nudged CBOE’s VIX to pop up 12.7%, ending at 18.81 on Friday. The U.S. Dollar Index was stable, closing the week at 90.30 (+0.1%). The portfolio of commodities in S&P’s GSCI had the first down week in over a month, dropping 1.5% with a 514.99 final print.
Five of the six metal futures we focus on in our recap moved lower. Only gold crept into the plus column by 0.4% for the week, with its $1,838.10 settlement. The weaker contracts in the group closed as follows: silver at $27.365 (-0.4%), platinum at $1,222.80 (-2.5%), palladium at $2,894.60 (-1.0%), copper at $4.6545 (-2.0%) and aluminum at $2,463.00 (-3.0%).
Energy futures held their ground, but barely so: NYMEX WTI added 0.7% to $65.37 per barrel. Likewise, Brent crude increased 0.6%, ending at $68.71 on Friday. U.S. refined products corrected from Monday’s panic spike (in response to the Colonial pipeline hack), as heating oil ended 1.3% higher, closing the week at $2.0362, and RBOB gasoline had a 0.0% change, settling at $2.1266 per gallon. Natural gas inched higher, firming by 0.1%, taking the June futures to $2.961 per mmBtu.
Of the nine agricultural markets that we review, eight of the products were in the red for the week. In percentage terms, corn fared the worst: the July contract plunged 12.1% with an 88½¢ crash to $6.43¾ per bushel. Wheat gave back 54½ ¢ (-7.2%) to its $7.07¼ settlement, and soybeans closed at $15.86½ (-0.2%). Coffee pulled back 5.2%, with the July ICE futures ending the week at $1.45 per pound. Sugar lost 3.0%, settling at 16.96¢/lb. Cotton took an 8.1% hit: as the July contract closed at 82.43¢ per pound. In the livestock markets, hogs fell to 108.725 (-3.7%), while cattle futures shaved off 0.6%, and closed with a price of 115.300 at week’s end. Cocoa was the gainer, but only by eleven ticks (+0.4%) to $2,474 per metric ton.
2021 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®
|1||Kevin McCormick||120.2%||United States|
|5||Graeme Adams||58.9%||New Zealand|
January 1, 2021 – June 10, 2021
2021 World Cup Championship of Forex Trading®
|4||Robert Miner||69.1%||United States|
January 1, 2021 – June 10, 2021
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June 1, 2020 – May 28, 2021 – Final Pending Audit
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