Weekly Market Recap – September 11, 2020
In the Markets
The unemployment claims number held steady at 884,000, unchanged from the revised figure for the previous week, which is a sign that the US recovery might be losing steam. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the cost of goods and services rose sharply for the third month in a row. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4%, after rising 0.6% in July.
The DJIA retreated 467.67 (-1.7%), closing at 27,665.64 on Friday. The S&P 500 gave back 85.99 points, ending at 3,340.97 (-2.5%), and the Russell 2000 marked a 2.6% drop, down 3.16 for the week to 119.98 at the close. Of the indices we include in this recap, the NASDAQ Composite performed the worst, likely stemming from liquidation in tech sector stocks. For the week, the index lost 459.58 points (-4.1%) ending at 9,014.56 on Friday, though it still leads the others on a year-to-date basis (+21.0%). Volatility ebbed notably as the CBOE VIX declined 3.88 (-12.6%) with its 26.87 final value. The Dollar Index basket ticked slightly higher gaining 0.24 (+0.3%) to its 93.27 settlement. Commodity prices embedded in the S&P GSCI caused the index to fall for the second week in a row, after a four-month rally. Friday’s close of 341.05 was down 6.05 (-1.7%) from the prior week.
CME December copper eased 0.7% last week, closing at $3.0395/lb. LME Aluminum softened to $1,771.50/ton (-0.8%). Precious metals have been more stable in recent weeks, without any abrupt swings. Friday’s December gold close was $1,947.90 from a $13.60 gain (+0.7%). Silver had a similar small gain, a 0.5% increase of 14.5¢ to a $26.857 settlement for December. Palladium dropped $12.40 to $2,330.80 (-0.5%). Chart-wise, the precious metals are moving sideways with a shallow downward drift. Platinum’s pattern is out of sync with the others. Friday’s October platinum close of $939.60 was a $41.40 advance (+4.6%).
Rising inventories in the global petroleum market has permeated oil futures trading, evidenced by the fading demand bounce. NYMEX October WTI traded at levels not seen since mid June, ending Friday’s session at $37.33, down $2.44 (-6.1%). In a similar move, front-month ICE Brent declined 6.6%, losing $2.83 to settle at $39.83 per barrel. Refined products slumped, as well. October heating oil lost 6.19¢ to close at $1.0896 (-5.4%), while RBOB gasoline lost 8.23¢, settling at $1.0949 (-7.0%). Natural gas caved 12.3% (down 31.9¢) as cooler temps prevailed in the forecasts. The closing bell left the October contract at $2.269 per MMBtu, the lowest end-of-week price since July 31st.
The agricultural sector markets were uneventful last week except for one product: pork. Reports that African swine fever in Germany, Europe’s largest exporter of pork products, quickly sparked a big jump in CME lean hog futures. Expectations that China would flood the US market with large purchase orders took October hogs up 6.750 points (+11.3%) for the week to 66.575, the highest level since late February and early March, as the pandemic was causing havoc in the meatpacking industry. Unsurprisingly, cattle was not impacted by this news; October cattle futures improved a mere 1.06 (+1.0%) to 105.83 at Friday’s close. Soybeans rose 28¢ last week (+2.9%) to close at $9.96 per bushel. Corn gained 10½¢ (+2.9%) to a $3.68½ settlement price. Wheat lost 8¼¢ (-1.5%) ending at $5.42 for the week. In the ICE softs, coffee fell 1.55 (-1.2%) to settle at $1.3245 per pound. Sugar was practically unchanged (-0.1%) losing 0.01¢ to close at 11.92¢ per pound. Cocoa decreased, ending Friday’s session at 2,548 (-1.8%) from its 47-point drop. Cotton receded 0.18 (-0.3%) to 64.81 in the December contract. October milk added 0.32 (+1.7%), closing at 19.21 for the week. Lumber, the previous week’s star performer, has returned to the doldrums by retreating a modest 1.20 (-0.2%), ending the week at $640.40 for November delivery.
World Cup Trading Championships®
In Futures, Michael O’Keeffe has held the top position, based on the end of week standings, for the 22nd week in a row with a 411.1% net return. Stefan Seibert held 2nd with a net return of 256.9%. Yuwen Cao remained in 3rd with a net return of 231.8%. Evgeny Kartashov and Paige Williams rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 165.8% and 136% respectively.
In the Forex division, Nicholas Ridley remained in the top spot with a 234.7% return. Jan Smolen held 2nd at 126.6%, with Raul Glavan in 3rd with a net return of 111.6%. Sergey Shirko and Scott Welsh rounded out the top 5 with net returns of 88.3% and 73.9% respectively.
In the futures division of the 2020-2021 Global Cup Trading Championship, Stefan Seibert climbed up to first with a net return of 77.1%, with Adrian Koemel following in 2nd at 73.3%. 3rd place is currently held by Jan Smolen with a net return of 66.3%. Tobias Baerlin and Vontobel of Tirutrade AG finished the week in 4th and 5th at 49.7% and 46.6% 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.