Weekly Market Recap – October 22, 2021
Following FDA authorization, the CDC approved booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, in addition to the previously approved Pfizer shots for those who are eligible. In Washington, reports indicated that there would be a vote on the infrastructure bill in the coming week.
Monthly economic statistics compared with previous values were: industrial production -1.3% vs. -0.1%, capacity utilization 75.2% vs. 76.2%, housing starts 1.56 million vs. 1.58 million, existing home sales 6.29 million vs. 5.88 million, and the index of leading economic indicators 0.2% vs. 0.8%. Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 290,000 from the prior week’s 296,000.
Persistent concerns about inflation and supply-chain shortages dominated market chatter during the week. The DJI marked a record highest end-of-week close, going out at 35,677.02, up 1.1% from the previous Friday. Also reaching a new record high was the S&P 500, ending at 4,544.90 (+1.6%). The third stock benchmark we track here is the NASDAQ Composite, which rose 1.3% for the week, settling at 15,090.20; its all-time high close was 15,374.33 back on September 7th. Volatility eased 5.3% as the CBOE VIX closed at 15.43. In currency markets, the U.S. Dollar Index slipped 0.4% with its 93.61 final print. The commodity futures portfolio in the S&P GSCI decreased slightly to 590.05 (-0.3%).
Precious metals were mixed and base metals declined. Their closing prices and percentage losses were as follows: gold at $1,796.30 (+1.6%), silver at $24.449 (+4.7%), platinum at $1,052.10 (-0.6%), palladium at $2,035.60 (-2.0%), copper at $4.4980 (-4.9%) and aluminum at $2,868 (-9.6%). Aluminum’s negative performance was it’s greatest weekly decline in 3½ years (-9.9% on April 20, 2018).
Crude oil prices increased, while the other energy contracts on our radar declined. NYMEX WTI closed at $83.76 (+2.5%); IPE Brent settled at $85.53 (+0.8%). Refined products moved lower, as heating oil dropped 1.4% to $2.5389 and RBOB gasoline ended at $2.4821 (-0.2%). In percentage terms, natural gas had the biggest move in this sector, as the November contract dropped to $5.280 per mmBtu. The weekly move of negative 2.4% accelerated the natgas sell-off to 18.3% from its contract high of $6.466 on October 6th.
Of the nine agricultural futures contracts that our recap covers, there were four gainers and five losers. Soybeans inched up to $12.20½ (+0.2%), and corn firmed 2.3%, going out at $5.38 per bushel. Wheat climbed to $7.56 (+3.0%). Coffee fell to $1.9985 per pound (-1.7%), sugar slid 3.6%, ending the week at 19.08¢/lb., cocoa declined 0.9% to $2,583 per ton, cotton rose to 108.26¢/lb. (+0.9%), cattle futures eased to 128.325 (-2.0%), and hogs dropped to 73.325 (-6.3%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||November|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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