Weekly Wrap-Up 10 July 2015

July 10th, 2015
in contributors, syndication, forex

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.21%

by Staff,

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in theConsumer Services, Technology and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.21%, while theS&P 500 index climbed 1.23%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 1.53%.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 15.72% to 16.83.

Follow up:

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which rose 2.69% or 3.23 points to trade at 123.30 at the close. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) added 2.35% or 2.81 points to end at 122.15 and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was up 2.04% or 1.37 points to 68.42 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which rose 0.17% or 0.07 points to trade at 44.59 at the close. Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) added 0.36% or 0.29 points to end at 80.95 and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) was up 0.47% or 0.34 points to 73.12.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) which rose 7.32% to 26.67, Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:SWKS) which was up 6.02% to settle at 100.20 and Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) which gained 5.34% to close at 98.40.

The worst performers were Noble Corporation PLC (NYSE:NE) which was down 4.16% to 14.29 in late trade, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO) which lost 3.22% to settle at 24.32 and Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD) which was down 3.03% to 134.46 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution (NASDAQ:KONE) which rose 28.35% to 5.800, Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXA) which was up 26.87% to settle at 1.190 and aTyr Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:LIFE) which gained 19.77% to close at 18.36.

The worst performers were Eco Stim Energy Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ESES) which was down 22.90% to 4.78 in late trade, NF Energy Saving Corporation (NASDAQ:NFEC) which lost 19.28% to settle at 1.130 and Helen of Troy Ltd (NASDAQ:HELE) which was down 10.68% to 86.71 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2520 to 577 and 1 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 2222 rose and 555 declined, while 5 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 7.32% or 1.82 to 26.67. Shares in Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO) fell to 5-year lows; falling 3.22% or 0.81 to 24.32. Shares in Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) rose to all time highs; up 5.34% or 4.99 to 98.40. Shares in NF Energy Saving Corporation (NASDAQ:NFEC) fell to 52-week lows; falling 19.28% or 0.270 to 1.130.

Additional stock news from Reuters at


EUR/USD surged 1% on Friday reaching its highest level this month, as markets throughout the euro zone moved higher in anticipation of a potential deal between Greece and its creditors over the weekend.

The pair soared to a session-high of 1.1214, moving above 1.12 for the first time in July, before falling back slightly to 1.1148. After opening at 1.0996 on Monday, the euro gained roughly 1.5% against the dollar on the week.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0994, the low from July 6 and was met with resistance at 1.1411, the high from June 22.

Legislators braced for a long, fatiguing night in Athens as the Greek parliament sent indications that a vote on prime minister Alexis Tsipras' latest bailout proposal could come as late as 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. Debate on a critical stimulus package, which could enable Greece to remain in the euro zone, began shortly after midnight Athens time.

Tsipras submitted the proposal to Greece's troika of international creditors from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission on Thursday night three hours before a midnight deadline. Under a proposed deal, Greece could receive a EUR 53.5 billion stimulus package through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Tsipras said:

"We are confronted with crucial decisions. We got a mandate to bring a better deal than the ultimatum that the Euro group gave us, but certainly not given a mandate to take Greece out of the euro zone. We are all in this together."

Addressing the Greek parliament on Friday evening, Greece finance minister Euclid Tsakalatos outlined a proposal which includes an ESM-ECB debt swap, significant fiscal and investment reforms and further debt relief as part of the program. On Saturday, the euro group of finance ministers will discuss the request by the Greek authorities for financial assistance from the ESM, while the three institutions will present their assessment of risk to financial stability in the euro area, Greece's financing needs and the sustainability of its public debt, the euro group said in a statement.

If approved, the two sides could approve an agreement on Sunday in an emergency summit in Brussels.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed that the U.S. central bank is on track to raise interest rates at some point this year. Speaking at a luncheon at The City Club in Cleveland, Yellen downplayed the importance of the Fed's first rate hike in more than a decade, preferring to focus on the gradual pace of policy normalization on a longer-term basis.

Yellen said:

"I want to emphasize while there is a lot of public discussion on that first move we should not over emphasize the timing of that first move. What is really going to matter is the entire path of interest rates over time. My own view is that the headwinds that have been holding back recovery for all these years are receding and conditions are improving."

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.86% to 95.86.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

Speculators this week were more bearish on the S&P 500, CAD, AUD and GBP.



Gold futures inched down in spite of a weaker dollar, as traders digested strong indications from Janet Yellen that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year and markets throughout the euro zone moved broadly higher amid optimism of a Greek deal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery fell 1.00 or 0.09% to 1,158.20 an ounce. During Friday's session gold futures traded in a tight range between $1,156.80 and $1,163.00 an ounce, ending the week down approximately 0.5%.

In Athens, Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras sought support from members of parliament for backing of a €53.5 billion austerity plan through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Tsipras' Syriza party submitted the proposal to Greece's troika of creditors from the European Central Bank (ECB), European Commission and International Monetary Fund on Thursday night.

Elsewhere, Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve said in a speech before the The City Club of Cleveland that the Fed is on track to raise interest rates at some point this year. The comments from Yellen are her most definitive to date on the timing of a 2015 rate hike. It has been nearly a decade since the U.S. Central Bank has raised its benchmark Federal Funds Rate.

Gold, which is not attached to dividends or interest rates, struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets in periods of rising interest rates.

Silver for September delivery gained 0.132 or 0.86% to 15.493 an ounce.

Copper for September delivery fell 0.013 or 0.52% to 2.538 a pound.


Crude futures were mixed on Friday in spite of a weaker dollar, amid increased optimism of a deal in Greek Debt negotiations and further delays in Iranian Nuclear talks.

In addition, investors digested hawkish comments from Janet Yellen on the likelihood of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this year, a rally in Chinese equities and further builds in U.S. oil rigs in afternoon trading, as WTI crude prices remained lower.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for August delivery lost 0.03 or 0.07% to close at $52.73 a barrel. For the session, WTI crude traded between 51.97 and 53.81 a barrel. For the week, Texas Long Sweet futures fell by roughly 5% after Thursday's rally erased some of the sharp losses from Monday's session.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for August delivery gained 0.09 or 0.15% to $58.70 a barrel. Brent futures reached an intraday high of 59.66, before falling slightly in U.S. afternoon trading. Over the last five days of trading, brent futures declined by roughly 2.70%.

In Vienna, Iran and western powers missed another deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal, extending Friday's deadline until early next week. While briefing reporters on developments in the tense negotiations, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the talks are not driven by deadlines but by the usefulness of the conversations between the two sides. Still, the sides needed to reach a deal on Friday set by the U.S. Congress for an expedited 30-day review. Any accord now reached by Sept. 7 will be subject to a 60-day review by Congress.

A nuclear deal is viewed as bearish for crude, as Iran reportedly hoards 30 million barrels of crude in its reserves ready for export. An outflow of Iranian oil could depress crude prices in a global market already oversaturated by a glut of oversupply. It is widely believed that Iran will ramp up exports if a plethora of severe economic sanctions are lifted by western powers.

In U.S. afternoon trading, oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said the U.S. oil rig count last week edged up by five to 645, marking the second consecutive week of weekly builds. A week earlier, U.S. oil rigs rose by 12 to 640, ending a 29-week streak of weekly draws.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD surged 0.85% to 1.113, as Yellen reaffirmed the Fed's plan to start raising its benchmark Federal Funds Rate at some point this year. Speaking at the The City Club of Cleveland, Yellen also indicated that she saw signs of rising wage and moderate economic growth for the remainder of the year.

Currency traders also remained cautious in advance of Sunday's emergency meeting in Brussels between Greece and its troika of creditors. On Thursday, Greece made strict concessions on tax reforms in a €13 billion revised proposal which could allow the beleaguered Mediterranean state to remain in the euro.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.54% to 96.15.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

Natural gas futures extended losses to hit a four-week low on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week.

Natural gas for delivery in August hit a session low of $2.648 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the weakest level since June 8, before trading at $2.652 during U.S. morning hours, down 3.4 cents, or 1.25%. Prices were at around $2.689 prior to the release of the supply data.

Futures were likely to find support at $2.624, the low from June 8, and resistance at $2.756, the high from July 8.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended July 3 rose by 91 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for an increase of 86 billion and following a build of 69 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Supplies rose by 94 billion cubic feet in the year-earlier period, while the five-year average change is an increase of 75 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.668 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 659 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 45 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.623 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

A day earlier, natural gas prices fell 3.1 cents, or 1.14%, to close at $2.685 as forecasts for mild weather across the U.S. in the weeks ahead dampened demand expectations for the fuel.

Demand for natural gas tends to fluctuate in the summer based on hot weather and air conditioning use. Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation.

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