Weekly Market Recap – October 23, 2020
In the Markets
A record one-day high of more than 83,000 US coronavirus cases was reported on Friday. New jobless claims were 787,000 for the reported week, and continuous unemployment benefit claims improved to 23.15 million people, down from 24.2 million. September’s index of leading economic indicators fell to 0.7%, down from 1.4% in August. The index has been in positive territory since June, after plunging in April and May. Existing home sales for September were 6.54 million, compared to 5.98 million for the prior month. Pandemic stimulus talks have failed to make any progress.
The movement in the stock market for the week was minimal. The indices we follow mostly drifted lower during the week, then firmed on Friday. The DJIA closed down 270.74 to 28,335.57 (-0.9%). A similar pattern was followed by the S&P 500 spot index, as it went down 18.42 points to 3,465.39 (down 0.5%). The NASDAQ Composite ended the week at 11,548.28 with a 123.28 setback (-1.1%). Some strength persisted for the Russell 2000, showing an up-move of 0.52 points to 131.65 (+0.4%). A small degree of volatility returned to the option premiums as CBOE’s VIX added 0.14 points to 27.55 for a weekly change of +0.5%. The USDX spot index ended 92.74 for a decline of 0.98 (-1.0% for the week). On a net basis, the commodities in the GSCI also showed a slight reduction, with a final evaluation of 358.76 after shaving off 3.84 points (-1.1%)
In the metals sector, there was a bit of lift in the platinum group. New demand has been reported for platinum and palladium. These two elements have been receiving positive press about their efficient role in fuel cells that are a key in the development of green hydrogen energy. January platinum rallied 4.3%, up $37.40 to $906.70; and December palladium rose 2.4%, up $56.30 to $2,398.60/oz. The more actively traded precious metals were mostly lackluster, as December gold declined $1.20/oz. last week, ending at 1,905.20 (-0.1%), while silver gained 1.1%, closing down 27¢ at $24.675/oz. The base metals covered in this recap diverged slightly. Copper firmed 6.33¢ (+2.1%) to close at $3.1290 per pound. LME aluminum for 3-month delivery eased $28.00 dollars per ton, ending at $1,842.50 (-1.5%).
On the energy charts, the petroleum markets have been in a consolidation pattern for the past seven weeks. NYMEX December WTI traded within a tight range during the week, ending Friday’s session at $39.85, down $1.27 (-3.1%). In a similar move, front-month ICE Brent declined 2.7%, losing $1.16 to settle at $41.77 per barrel. Refined products slumped, as well. November heating oil lost 2.78¢ to close at $1.1513 (-2.4%), while RBOB gasoline slipped
2.99¢, settling at $1.1389 (-2.6%). On Friday, natural gas traders reacted to a warmer climatological outlook for December. This is in spite of the cold snap that is currently affecting the gas consuming regions for the short term. Dec. natgas retreated 7.6¢ (-2.3%), and the closing bell finished the market at $3.195 per MMBtu.
The agricultural products we track here were mixed. Soybeans rallied 33¾¢ (+3.2%) to close at $10.83¾ per bushel. Corn climbed 17¼¢ (+4.3%) to a $4.19¼ settlement price. Wheat advanced 30½¢ (+5.1%) ending at $6.32¾ for the week. In the ICE softs, coffee eased 1.65 points (-1.5%), settling at $1.0560 per pound. Sugar increased 2.0%, gaining 0.29¢ to close at 14.72¢ per pound. Cocoa jumped $118 (+5.0%), ending Friday’s session at $2,479 per ton. Cotton maintained its uptrend, rising 1.37 (+2.0%) to 71.29 in the December contract. Livestock prices fell, as December hogs lost 2.275 (-4.0%) to a 67.025 close, while cattle ended at 103.575 with a 5.050 decline (-4.6%).
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Stefan Seibert once again finished in 1st with a net return of 345.6%, with Michael O’Keeffe in 2nd with a 335.3% net return. Yuwen Cao remained in 3rd with a net return of 290.1%. Paige Williams and Evgeny Kartashov rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 200.5% and 165.8% respectively.
In the Forex division, Patrick Nill held the top spot with a 259.9% net return. Raul Glavan remained in 2nd at 108.4% net return, with Jan Smolen in 3rd with a net return of 98%. Sergey Shirko and Scott Welsh rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 93.8% and 81.5% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Stefan Seibert maintained first with a net return of 143.4%, with M. Vontobel of Tirutrade AG in 2nd with a 73.7% net return. 3rd place is currently held by Tobias Baerlin with a net return of 62.6%. Adrian Koemel and Jan Smolen finished the week in 4th and 5th with 58.3% and 45.6% net returns respectively.
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