Weekly Market Recap – October 30, 2020
In the Markets
Third-quarter GDP growth was a record +33.1% vs. a 31.4% decline in Q2. There were 751,000 new jobless claims reported, compared to 791,000 the previous week, for a total of 22.65 million unemployed workers, down from 23.07 million. Personal income rose 0.9%, compared with the prior month’s 2.5% drop. Consumer spending was up 1.4% vs. the previous 1.0% report. The news cycle is dominated by both the election and COVID-19. More than 90 million votes have been cast, which includes early voting at polling places and mail-in ballots. This totals nearly two-thirds of the 136 million general election votes that were cast in 2016. Friday’s report of new US coronavirus cases was a record: 99,784. The rate of new cases is rising in 40 states, as the pandemic death toll has now surpassed 230,000 nationwide.
Across the board, stocks registered losses throughout the week. The DJIA plunged 1,833.97 (-6.5%), printing 26,501.60 as its Friday close; there was a 195.43 decrease for the S&P 500 (-5.6%) closing at 3,269.96. NASDAQ’s composite index had a 636.69 down move to 10,911.59 (-5.5%). The Russell 2000 fell with a 7.98 drop to 123.67 (-6.1%). Volatility in equities spiked considerably as CBOE’s VIX ended at 38.02 for a 10.47 rally (+38.0%), the highest weekly close since April 9th (41.67). In currency markets, the dollar strengthened, evidenced by the spot US Dollar Index, which ended up 1.28 (+1.4%), rising to 94.02, its highest weekly close since September 25th.
The direction of the commodity portfolio in the GSCI took a path similar to the stock market, losing 17.99 (-5.0%) to 340.77 at week’s end. Metals, a significant portion of that index, followed suit by retreating. Gold fared best, by not falling as much as the other metals we cover here. The December contract moved only 1.3% lower, settling at $1,879.90 after a $25.30 setback. Silver’s weekly move was down 4.2%, falling by $1.03 to close at $23.646 on Friday. Both platinum and palladium futures dropped, as well: the former closed at $848.40, while the latter ended the week at $2,217.20 per ounce. Their declines were more extensive than those in gold and silver, as platinum’s loss was $58.30 (-6.4%) and palladium gave back $181.40 (-7.6%). The base metals that we watch also slipped. CME copper went out at $3.0475/lb. losing 8.15¢ (-2.6%), while LME aluminum ended the week $56.70 lower (-2.3%) to close at $1,800.00 per metric ton.
In the petroleum sector of energy futures, both hedgers and speculators seem to be heeding the lessons learned from the pandemic’s impact on oil prices six months ago. Now that COVID-19 is resurging in the US and Europe, analyst’s expectations of lower consumer demand have resurfaced. Crude has broken support on the charts: West Texas Intermediate dived $4.28 (-10.7%) to $35.57, the lowest weekly close since late May. The extraordinary sub-zero pricing in April’s crude crash hasn’t been forgotten; North Sea Brent followed the same trajectory, falling $4.29 (-10.3%) to $37.48 per barrel. Heating oil lost 6.55¢ (-5.7%) ending Friday’s session at 1.0858, while RBOB gasoline closed at 1.0519 down 8.70¢ (-7.6%) per gallon. As for the non-petroleum side, natural gas remains in an up-move, boosted this week by record LNG exports. December futures settled at new contract highs of $3.374, gaining 17.9¢ (+5.6%) for the week. Natgas is up 29.6% on a year-to-date basis.
As with most of the commodity prices covered above, agricultural products continued slumping. Wheat settled at $5.98½ per bushel, down 34¼¢ (-5.4%). Corn, with its $3.98½ close, gave back 20¾¢ (-4.9%) for the week. Soybeans went out at $10.56¼, after losing 24¾¢ (-2.3%). ICE US softs weakened, with coffee easing 1.20 to 104.40 (-1.1%) from the previous Friday. March sugar declined 0.36 (-2.4%) to 14.36¢ per pound. Cocoa lost $186 (-7.5%) for the week, closing at $2,293 per ton. December cotton retreated 2.37¢ (-3.3%) to its 68.92 settlement price. Livestock was mixed, as hog futures pared off 1.450 (-2.2%) to a 65.575 close. Of the Ag futures we usually feature in this recap, cattle was the only gainer for the week, its 4.725 (+4.6%) rally took the December contract to a settlement of 108.300 at Friday’s close.
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Stefan Seibert held 1st with a 349.3% net return. Michael O’Keeffe remained in 2nd with a net return of 335.8%. Yuwen Cao remained in 3rd with a net return of 257.2%. Evgeny Kartashov and Paige Williams rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 165.8% and 131.6% respectively.
In the Forex division, Patrick Nill held the top spot with a 248.3% net return. Raul Glavan remained in 2nd at 181.3% net return, with Sergey Shirko in 3rd with a net return of 123.4%. Jan Smolen and Scott Welsh rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 102.6% and 82.7% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Stefan Seibert maintained first with a net return of 148.8%, with Adrian Koemel in 2nd with a 78.6% net return. 3rd place is currently held by M. Vontobel of Tirutrade AG with a net return of 65.1%. Tobias Baerlin and Fernando C. Piñeiro finished the week in 4th and 5th with 54.8% and 47.8% net returns respectively.
Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. World Cup Championship (WCC ) accounts do not necessarily represent all the trading accounts controlled by a given competitor. WCC competitors may control accounts that produce results substantially different than the results achieved in their WCC accounts. WCC entrants may trade more than one account in the competition. CME Group is the trademark of CME Group, Inc. The Globe logo is a trademark of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.