Weekly Market Recap – September 2, 2022
On Friday, the G7 agreed to place a price cap on Russian oil, in line with the West’s concerted efforts to use economic sanctioning to pressure President Putin. Hours after the G7 finance ministers announced this plan, Gazprom, the Russian-owned energy giant, stated that mechanical problems were forcing a postponement to the flow of natural gas in the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany. Flooding in Pakistan killed over 1,100 people and submerged approximately one-third of the country, causing over $10 billion in crop damage. The Food and Drug Administration authorized a reformulated COVID-19 booster designed to target the Omicron BA.5 variant. It is the first time the FDA has approved an updated coronavirus vaccine formula since the original shots rolled out in December 2020.
Monthly economic statistics reported during the week, compared with prior releases, were as follows: S&P Case-Shiller home price index (year over year) 18.0% vs. 19.9%, the consumer confidence index 103.2 vs. 95.7, factory orders -1.0% vs. +1.8%, job openings 11.2 million vs. 11.0 million, job quits 4.2 million vs. 4.3 million. August nonfarm payrolls dropped to 315,000 vs. 526,000 in July, and the unemployment rate increased by 3.7% vs. +3.5%. Quarterly figures for seasonally adjusted annual rates showed that productivity declined by 4.1% in Q2 vs. a 4.6% drop in Q1, and Q2 unit labor cost rose 10.2% compared with +10.8% in Q1. The unemployment numbers for the weekly reports showed that initial jobless claims fell to 232,000 vs. the previous 237,000, and continuing claims rose to 1.44 million from 1.41 million.
Stock market prices sank throughout the week. The three indices we monitor fell to levels not seen since mid-July. Weekly results showed the DJIA sliding to 31,318.44 (-3.0%), the S&P 500 came off 3.3%, settling at 3,924.23, and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 11,630.86 (-4.2%). CBOE’s VIX declined a bit to 25.47 (-0.4%). In currencies, USD Index futures inched up to 109.510 (+0.7%). S&P’s GSCI lost 5.4%; the portfolio of commodity contracts closed at 651.45, its lowest end-of-week price in a month.
All six of the metals futures on our watch list fell in price. Settlements and weekly percentage decreases were: gold at $1,722.60 (-1.6%), silver at $17.881 (-5.0%), platinum at $818.30 (-4.3%), palladium at $2,026.10 (-5.0%), copper at $3.4135 (-7.7%) and aluminum at $2,295.50 (-7.9%).
The energy futures we report here also ended the week lowered across the board. Closing prices and their respective percentage losses were as follows: WTI crude at $86.87 per barrel (-6.7%), Brent crude at $93.02 (-6.0%), heating oil at $3.5780 per gallon (-9.1%), RBOB gasoline at $2.4636 (-8.0%), NYMEX natural gas at $8.786 per MMBtu (-5.2%), and ICE TTF Dutch gas at €214.665 per MWh (-38.1%). The precipitous plunge in European gas came after hitting its all-time high a week ago, then crashing for five days, driven by the volatility of geopolitics that has continued to buffet the global energy markets.
The directional movements of the nine agricultural futures we track were mixed, with five decreasing and four increasing. The contracts that lost value were: soybeans at $14.20½ (-2.8%), coffee at $2.2880 (-3.9%), sugar at 18.15¢ (-1.7%), cotton at 103.21¢ (-12.3%), and lean hogs at 90.025 (-0.7%). The gainers were: corn at $6.65¾ (+0.1%), wheat at $8.11 (+0.7%), cocoa at $2,416 (+0.1%) and live cattle at 144.550 (+1.0%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|ICE||Dutch TTF Gas||October|
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||October|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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