Weekly Market Recap – September 3, 2021
After pummeling Louisiana and leaving a million customers without electric power, the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved into the northeast causing historic rainfall and flooding, along with at least 50 deaths. Because Ida’s aftermath has severely impacted the energy infrastructure, with 80% of Gulf oil production offline, the Department of Energy is releasing 1.5 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to mitigate fuel shortages. The storm’s cost to insurers is estimated to be $18 billion. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 4.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 and now account for 22.4% of new cases as the new school year is beginning.
Monthly economic statistics, compared with previous levels, were as follows: Case-Shiller national home price index (year-over-year) 18.6% vs. 16.8%, the Chicago purchasing manager’s index 66.8 vs. 73.4, consumer confidence index 113.8 vs. 125.1, construction spending 0.3% vs. 0.0%, balance of trade (deficit) -$70.1 billion vs. -$73.2 billion, factory orders 0.4% vs. 1.5%, non-farm payrolls 235,000 vs. 1.05 million, unemployment rate 5.2% vs. 5.4%. Weekly initial jobless claims were 340,000 vs. last week’s 354,000.
Stocks were steady to higher for the week. The S&P 500 settled at 4,535.43 (+0.6%), and the NASDAQ Composite went out at 15,363.52 (+1.5%). The DJIA, eased 0.2%, ending at 35,369.09 on Friday. Volatility stabilized, as the CBOE VIX gained only two ticks (+0.1%), finishing at 16.41 points. The U.S Dollar Index shaved off 0.6%, with its 92.11 final value. Commodity indices continued moving higher, as the S&P GSCI closed at 531.87 (+0.5%), mostly due to rising metals and energy prices.
We will summarize the strength that persisted in metals futures with settlement prices and their respective percentage increases: gold at $1,833.70 (+0.8%), silver at $24.802 (+2.9%), platinum at $1,021.60 (+1.5%), palladium at $2,416.30 (+0.3%), copper at $4.3340 (+0.002%) and aluminum at $2,727.00 (+2.9%).
The energy sector showed gains, but less than the prior week. WTI closed at $69.29 (+0.8%), and Brent rose to $72.61 (+1.3%). Refined products also increased, with heating oil settling at $2.1594 (+2.5%) and RBOB gasoline at $2.1540 per gallon (+1.6%). Natural gas was the leader of the group we report, jumping 7.4% to $4.712 per mmBtu, as it was still driven by hurricane Ida’s fundamentals.
A week ago, we saw rallies in all nine of the agricultural contracts covered in our recap. Now, the score has shifted, with seven products dropping, and only two rising. The strength was in two of the soft commodities: coffee and cocoa. The former increased 0.4% to $1.9300 per pound, and the latter advanced 2.8% to $2,654 per ton. For the futures that retreated, the closing prices and percentage decreases from the previous Friday were: soybeans at $12.92 (-2.4%), corn at $5.24 (-5.4%), wheat at $7.26¼ (-0.9%), sugar at 19.62¢ (-2.1%), cotton at 94.02¢ (-0.9%), live cattle at 124.800 (-3.3%), and lean hogs at 89.575 (-1.3%).
Futures Referenced in Market Recap
|NYMEX||ULSD (Heating Oil)||October|
|LME||Aluminum||3 Mo. Forward|
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