Weekly Market Recap – November 12, 2021
A labor statistic that began getting more attention in spring 2021 is the “JOLTS” number (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey). It enumerates new job creation and resignations, and the latter is in focus. Now dubbed the “Great Resignation” or the “Big Quit”, the measure reached a new record in September, as 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs. 3% of the workforce. Weekly initial jobless claims were 267,000 vs. 271,000. Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: Federal budget -$165 billion vs. -$284 billion, wholesale inventories (revision) 1.4% vs. 1.1%, and the consumer sentiment index at 68.6 vs. 71.7. Inflation is getting expanded coverage in the financial press, as the producer price index rose 0.6% vs. 0.5%, and consumer prices jumped 0.9% compared with +0.4%. Overall, consumer prices rose 6.2% in the past 12 months, the largest increase since 1990.
The stock market indices we monitor here eased slightly from the previous Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 36,100.31 (-0.6%) the S&P 500 pared off 0.3%, trading 4,682.85 at the close, and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 15,860.96 (-0.7%). CBOE’s VIX settled at 16.29 (-1.2%). On the currency side, the U.S. Dollar Index ticked higher for the week, closing at 95.12 (+0.8%) its highest in 16 months (96.01 the week ending July 17th, 2020). Commodity prices, as measured by the portfolio of futures listed in the S&P GSCI, ended the week at 579.62 (-0.1%); the incremental change was the result of weakness in energy markets that offset the strength in metals and agricultural products.
In metals futures, all six of the contracts on our radar moved higher. The settlements and corresponding percentage movements were: gold at $1,868.50 (+2.8%), silver at $25.346 (+4.9%), platinum at $1,089.20 (+5.2%), palladium at $2,117.70 (+4.4%), copper at $4.4495 (+2.5%), and aluminum at $2,700.00 (+5.6%). Gold hasn’t traded this high since mid May, when it topped $1,900 per ounce.
The energy sector declined across the board. Crude trimmed its per barrel price in both benchmarks we track: WTI closed at $80.79 (-0.6%%) and Brent eased to $82.17 (-0.7%). Refined products followed in kind, with ultra-low sulfur diesel settling at $2.4037 (-2.1%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.3114 per gallon (-0.4%). Natural gas tumbled further from its meteoric rise (to $6.593 on October 6th) and fell to $4.791 per mmBtu (-13.1% for the week and -27.3% from the high of the move).
For the nine agricultural futures reported in our recap, eight had a strong showing for the week. The only loser was the lean hog contract, ending at 75.875 (-0.9%). On the winning side were: soybeans at $12.44¼ (+3.2%), corn at $5.77¼ (+4.4%), wheat at $8.17 (+6.6%), coffee at $2.2195 (+7.5%), sugar at 20.01¢ (+0.4%), cocoa at $2,525 (+3.1%), cotton at 117.69¢ (+0.7%), and live cattle at 132.125 (+0.2%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||December|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
2021 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®
|1||Kevin S McCormick||253.8%|
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