Weekly Market Recap – May 20, 2022
The U.S. is now seeing more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases per day for the first time in months; cases are up 52% and hospitalizations are up 31% in the past two weeks. On Wednesday, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to expedite the production of baby formula and approved the use of government aircraft for imports to alleviate shortages. The first shipment of 78,000 pounds of specialty infant formula is due to arrive over the weekend via U.S. military planes.
Monthly economic statistics released during the week, compared with the prior month were as follows: retail sales +0.9% vs. +1.4%, industrial production +1.1% vs. +0.9%, business inventories +2.0% vs. +1.9%, capacity utilization 79.0% vs. 78.2%, housing starts 1.72 million vs. 1.73 million, building permits 1.82 million vs. 1.88 million, existing home sales 5.61 million vs. 5.75 million, and leading economic indicators -0.3% vs. +0.1%. Weekly statistics for initial jobless claims were 218,000 vs. 197,000, and continuing claims were 1.32 million vs. 1.34 million.
According to Dow Jones Market Data, the DJIA booked an eighth straight weekly decline, its longest weekly losing streak in 90 years (April 1932). For the Dow and the other two indices we feature here, the DJIA had a 2.9% setback, going out at 31,261.90 on Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 3,901.36 (-3.0%) and the NASDAQ Composite ended at 11,354.62 (-3.8%). Volatility remained throughout the week as the CBOE VIX closed at 29.43 points (+1.9%). In currencies, the USD Index futures backed off of the previous week’s 20-year high, to settle at 103.173 (-1.4%). Commodity inflation continues, but with fewer jolts than a couple of months ago. The S&P GSCI basket of futures climbed to 765.76 at the week’s end (+0.8%).
Strength persisted across the board for the metals futures we track. Settlements and percentage increases were: gold at $1,842.10 (+1.9%), silver at $21.674 (+3.2%), platinum at $941.10 (+1.1%), palladium at $1,939.70 (+1.1%), copper at $4.2750 (+2.4%) and aluminum at $2,946.00 (+5.7%).
On the energy charts, the futures contracts on our radar were mixed for the week. NYMEX WTI rose to $113.23 per barrel, up 2.5%. ICE Brent firmed to $112.55 (+0.9%). Heating oil dropped 4.6%, closing the week at $3.7391, and RBOB gasoline lost 3.1% to $3.8370 per gallon. Natural gas sharply advanced to $8.083 per mmBtu (+5.5%). The ICE TTF Dutch gas took a 9.3% dive, going out at €87.902 per MWh.
Three of the nine agricultural products we monitor moved higher and six of them decreased. Soybeans gained 3.6% to $17.05¼ per bushel, and corn eased 0.3%, going out at $7.78¾. Wheat slipped to $11.68¾ (-0.7%). Coffee rose to $2.1585 per pound (+0.9%), and sugar breached the 20¢ level again, but came off on the close, ending the week at 19.95¢ per pound (+4.1%). Cocoa declined 1.6% to $2,429 per ton, and cotton closed at 142.27¢ (-2.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||June|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||June|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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