Weekly Market Recap – May 19, 2023
Disney scuttled its plan for a $1billion office complex in Orlando that would have moved an entire division from California to Florida, bringing over 2,000 jobs to the region. Despite the approaching possibility of an unprecedented U.S. default, there was hardly any progress in the debt ceiling negotiations. As the week came to a close, leaders of the G7 nations began arriving in Hiroshima for the organization’s annual summit. Also headed for Japan was Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, on his mission to urge the governments of the world’s wealthiest countries to stand by him in defending Ukraine from Russia.
Monthly economic statistics reported during the week compared with prior levels were: housing starts 1.40 million vs. 1.37 million, building permits 1.42 million vs. 1.44 million, existing home sales 4.28 million vs. 4.43 million, retail sales +0.4% vs. -0.7%, retail sales excluding motor vehicles +0.4% vs. -0.5%, industrial production +0.5% vs. 0.0%, capacity utilization rate 79.7%, vs. 79.4%, business inventories -0.1% vs. 0.0%, and leading economic indicators -0.6% vs. -1.2%. Weekly numbers showed initial jobless claims fell to 242,000 from 264,000. There were no significant quarterly reports.
Stock markets climbed steadily higher throughout the week. For the three indices we track, Friday’s ending levels and weekly net percentage gains were: DJIA at 33,426.63 (+0.4%), S&P 500 at 4,191.98 (+1.6%), and the NASDAQ Composite at 12,657.90 (+3.0%). Equities volatility eased, as evidenced by the CBOE VIX falling to 16.81 (-1.3%). In currencies, USD Index futures rose to 103.079 (+0.6%). The commodities sector increased 0.8% according to the S&P GSCI’s 543.41 close.
Metals futures were mixed. For the contracts we monitor, closing prices and percentage movements were: gold at $1,981.60 per ounce (-1.9%), silver at $24.060 (-0.4%), platinum at $1,075.70 (+0.8%), palladium at $1,523.80 (+0.7%), copper at $3.7320 per pound (+0.1%) and aluminum at $2,283.50 per metric ton (+2.3%).
In the energy markets we follow, all but one of the products rallied during the week. The loser was ICE Dutch TTF gas, dropping 7.9% to €30.176 per MWh. Closing levels and percentage increases of the five that gained were: WTI crude oil at $71.55/bbl (+2.2%), Brent crude at $75.58 (+1.9%), heating oil at $2.3622 per gallon (+2.5%), RBOB gasoline at $2.5761 (+6.0%), and NYMEX natural gas soared to $2.585 per MmBtu (+14.1%).
Of the nine agricultural futures prices on our watch list, four rose and five sold off. The gainers were: coffee at $1.9200 per pound (+5.0%), cocoa at $3,068 (+2.7%), cotton at 86.72¢ (+7.7%) and cattle at 165.725 (+0.8%). In the red, soybeans fell to end at $13.07¼ per bushel (-6.0%), along with wheat at $6.05 (-4.7%), corn at $5.54½ (-5.4%), sugar at 25.78¢ per pound (-1.7%) and lean hogs at 83.025 (-1.3%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||June|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||June|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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