Weekly Market Recap – October 15, 2021
Weekly initial jobless claims were 293,000, the lowest number of claims since the beginning of the pandemic. The prior week’s figure was 329,000. Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: retail sales 0.7% vs. 0.9%, business inventories 0.6% vs. 0.5%, and the consumer sentiment index at 71.4 vs. 72.8. Inflation was a topic of focus in the financial press, as the consumer price index rose 0.4% vs. 0.3%; yet producer prices gained 0.5% compared with the previous month (0.7%). The CPI’s longer-term advance is more alarming at +5.4%, the highest year-on-year jump since January 1991. The Social Security Administration’s benefit announcement for next year is indicative of the government\\\’s response to the trend: 70 million retired Americans will see a 5.9% increase in 2022, the greatest rise in forty years.
On Friday, stocks were boosted by reports of better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. The weekly gain to 35,294.76 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was its best weekly performance (+1.6%) since late June. The S&P 500 went out at 4,471.37 (+1.8%), and the NASDAQ Composite ended at 14,897.34 (+2.2%). The CBOE VIX eased 13.2% to 16.30. In currency markets, the US Dollar index closed at 93.95 (-0.2%). Commodities mostly gained, evidenced by the S&P GSCI (+2.6%), as Friday’s final print was 591.72, the highest since September 2014.
Precious and base metals advanced. Their closing prices and percentage gains were: gold at $1,768.30 (+0.6%), silver at $23.349 (+2.8%), platinum at $1,058.90 (+3.0%), palladium at $2,076.60 (+0.2%), copper at $4.7295 (+10.6%) and aluminum at $3,171.50 (+6.9%). Year to date, aluminum has risen 60.2% to its highest level since July 2008, when it hit the record price of $3,380.20 per metric ton.
The energy futures we monitor in our recap were mostly higher for the week. Crude gained a couple of dollars per barrel, as WTI closed at $82.28 (+3.7%) and ICE Brent hit $84.86 (+3.0%). Refined products followed suit, with ultra-low sulfur diesel settling at $2.5737 (+4.0%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.4864 per gallon (+5.1%). Natural gas weakened, with the NYMEX front-month settling at $5.410 per mmBtu (-2.8%).
The agricultural contracts on our tracking list of nine commodities ended the week with a score of two up, six down, and one sleeper. The gainers were: coffee at $2.0340 (+1.0%) and cattle at 130.975 (+0.6%). The losers were: soybeans at $12.17¾ (-2.0%), corn at $5.25¾ (-0.9%), sugar at 19.80¢ (-2.4%), cocoa at $2,607 (-5.2%), cotton at 107.33¢ (-3.0%), and hogs at 78.275 (-4.0%). The sleeper from the previous Friday was wheat at $7.34 (0.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||November|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
2021 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®
|1||Kevin S McCormick||253.8%|
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