Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 24 July 2015

July 24th, 2015
in contributors, syndication, forex

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.92%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in theHealthcare, Basic Materials and Oil & Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.92%, while theS&P 500 index declined 1.07%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 1.12%. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2408 to 682 and 1 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 2123 fell and 681 advanced, while 2 ended unchanged.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 8.79% to 13.74.

Follow up:

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Visa Inc(NYSE:V), which rose 4.25% or 3.05 points to trade at 74.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) added 1.39% or 0.39 points to end at 28.40 and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) was up 0.09% or 0.11 points to 118.91 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD), which fell 2.63% or 1.54 points to trade at 56.94 at the close. ChevronCorporation (NYSE:CVX) declined 2.52% or 2.34 points to end at 90.60 and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was down 1.94% or 0.51 points to 25.75.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) which rose 10.02% to 530.50, CR Bard Inc (NYSE:BCR) which was up 4.63% to settle at 187.75 and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) which gained 4.25% to close at 74.80.

The worst performers were Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) which was down 22.08% to 300.03 in late trade, TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) which lost 13.40% to settle at 80.86 and Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) which was down 13.12% to 78.86 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Amedica Cor (NASDAQ:AMDA) which rose 37.04% to 0.740, Glori Energy Technology Inc (NASDAQ:GLRI) which was up 28.93% to settle at 1.560 and Marketo Inc (NASDAQ:MKTO) which gained 21.12% to close at 30.39.

The worst performers were Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SNSS) which was down 72.36% to 0.959 in late trade, Truecar Inc (NASDAQ:TRUE) which lost 35.67% to settle at 6.87 and The Spectranetics Corporation (NASDAQ:SPNC) which was down 34.35% to 16.30 at the close.

Shares in Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose to all time highs; rising 10.02% or 48.32 to 530.50. Shares in CR Bard Inc (NYSE:BCR) rose to all time highs; gaining 4.63% or 8.30 to 187.75. Shares in Visa Inc (NYSE:V) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.25% or 3.05 to 74.80. Shares in Visa Inc (NYSE:V) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.25% or 3.05 to 74.80. Shares in EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.63% or 1.54 to 56.94. Shares in Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) fell to 3-years lows; down 2.52% or 2.34 to 90.60. Shares in Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SNSS) fell to all time lows; down 72.36% or 2.511 to 0.959. Shares in Truecar Inc (NASDAQ:TRUE) fell to all time lows; falling 35.67% or 3.81 to 6.87. Shares in The Spectranetics Corporation (NASDAQ:SPNC) fell to 52-week lows; falling 34.35% or 8.53 to 16.30.

Additional stock news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

EUR/USD fell slightly on Friday reversing some of the gains from one session earlier, amid mixed data on both continents.

The currency pair traded in a tight range between 1.0925 and 1.0996 before settling at 1.0976, down 0.0009 or 0.08%. For the week the euro gained more than 1.3% against its American counterpart, as the Greek Debt Crisis continues to wind down.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0808 the low from July 20 and was met with resistance at 1.1198, the high from July 13.

The dollar surged to intraday highs in U.S. morning trading amid positive manufacturing data before paring some of the gains following the release of disappointing housing figures. The Markit July PMI index in the U.S. ticked up to 53.8, above last month's reading of 53.4. Shortly later, however, the dollar moved lower after the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales plunged 6.8% in June to 482,000. Median home prices remained soft at $281,000.

Elsewhere, U.S. 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed a wave of corporate tax reforms on Friday, including a plan that will nearly double the capital gains tax rate on short-term investments. Clinton, the Democratic Party frontrunner, is also proposing increased transparency for stock buybacks and changes to executive compensation.

In Europe, the Markit flash euro zone PMI fell to 53.7 in July, down from a four-year high of 54.2 in June. The decline reflected a slowdown in the manufacturing and service sectors throughout the zone, as well as a dip in consumer confidence.

Currency traders await next week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting for further hints on the timing of a much-awaited interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Earlier this week, Federal St. Louis president James Bullard said there is a 50% chance the Fed will raise rates at its FOMC meeting in September. It came days after Fed chair Janet Yellen reiterated that conditions in the economy are likely to justify an interest rate hike at some point this year. Nearly a decade has passed since the U.S. central bank last lifted its benchmark Federal Funds Rate. For nearly six years, short-term interest rates have remained level between zero and 0.25% since the end of the Financial Crisis.

On Friday, the Fed announced that it inadvertently published a staff forecast on its website which disclosed that staff economists anticipate a quarter-point rate hike at some point this year.

USD/CAD reached a fresh 12-year high at 1.3102 before falling slightly back to 1.3047.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

Speculators this week were more bearish on EUR, CAD and AUD .

cot.2015.jul.15

Gold

Gold futures resumed their precipitous decline on Friday one session after halting its longest losing skid in nearly two decades, as continuing worries related to the fledgling Chinese economy and the timing of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve remained in focus.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery fell to a fresh-year low dipping below $1,080 a troy ounce before rallying slightly in U.S. afternoon trading. The precious metal traded in a broad range between $1,076.20 and $1,090.60 an ounce, before settling at 1,085.00 an ounce, down 9.10 or 0.83%.

For the week gold futures lost about 4.25 % in value after opening on Monday around $1,090. On Thursday, the precious metal rose modestly by approximately 0.25% to end a 10-day losing streak, its longest since 1996. As late as the end of last month, gold futures remained above $1,200 an ounce.

Gold resumed its slide early in the Asian trading session after the Markit Chinese PMI survey for July fell to a 15-month low at 48.2, well below expectations of a 48.2 reading. China is the world's largest producer and second-largest consumer of gold.

The dollar, meanwhile, surged to intraday highs amid positive manufacturing data before paring some of the gains following the release of disappointing housing figures. The Markit July PMI index in the U.S. ticked up to 53.8, above last month's reading of 53.4. Shortly after, however, the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales plunged 6.8% in June to 482,000. Median home prices remained soft at $281,000.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback, versus a basket of six other major currencies, reached an intraday high of 97.75 before falling back to 97.37, up 0.09%.

Dollar-denominated commodities such as gold become more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar appreciates.

Gold prices could decline even further if the FOMC offers more hints next week that an interest rate hike might be imminent. Earlier this week, Federal Reserve of St. Louis president James Bullard said there is a 50% chance the Fed will raise rates at its FOMC meeting in September. It came days after Fed chair Janet Yellen reiterated that conditions in the economy are likely to justify an interest rate hike at some point this year. Nearly a decade has passed since the U.S. central bank last lifted its benchmark Federal Funds Rate. For nearly six years, short-term interest rates have remained level between zero and 0.25% since the end of the Financial Crisis.

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

Silver for September delivery plunged 0.211 or 1.44% to 14.493 an ounce.

Copper for September delivery fell 0.001 or 0.03% to 2.383 a pound.

Oil

WTI crude extended its recent slide on Friday falling to fresh four-month lows, amid a significant build in U.S. oil rigs last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for September delivery traded between $47.74 and $49.02 a barrel before settling at 48.17, down 0.29 or 0.59%. At one point, Texas Long Sweet futures fell to its lowest level since early-April. U.S. crudefutures have closed lower on seven of the last eight sessions and have declined by approximately 23% over the last month, as concerns related to global oversupply and the widespread ramifications of the Iranian Nuclear deal have weighed.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for September delivery wavered between $54.30 and $55.59 before settling at 54.61, down 0.66 or 1.17%. The spread between the U.S. and international benchmarks of crude stood at 6.44, below Thursday's level of 6.81 at the close.

Oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said in its weekly rig count on Friday that U.S. oil rigs last week soared by 21 to 659. A week earlier, the rig count fell mildly by seven to 638. The minor decline was preceded by two weeks of builds, after 29 consecutive weeks of draws. The count is down sharply from its level last fall when it peaked above 1,500.

Energy analysts, however, are placing less stock in the rig count in comparison with recent years, as U.S. shale producers find creative ways to drill efficiently while removing less effective rigs. Earlier this week, U.S. crude output remained around 9.55 million barrels per day near its highest levels in more than 40 years.

Although Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have excoriated Secretary of State John Kerry for accepting an unfavorable deal with Iran last week in Vienna, U.S. president Barack Obama has vowed to veto any Congressional action that condemns the nuclear accord. The United Nation and a host of western powers are expected to lift a wide range of severe economic sanctions against Iran upon the completion of the deal.

The accord is viewed as bearish for crude, as Iran is expected to double its export level to around 2 million barrels per day within months after the sanctions are eased. The gulf state reportedly has approximately 30 million barrels of crude in reserve ready for export. An outflow of Iranian oil into global energy markets could depress prices even further in a market saturated by oversupply.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

Natural gas futures briefly extended gains to hit a five-week high on Thursday before turning lower after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week.

Natural gas for delivery in August on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped to a session high of $2.918 per million British thermal units, the most since June 17, before trading at $2.889 during U.S. morning hours, down 0.7 cents, or 0.26%. Prices were at around $2.911 prior to the release of the supply data.

Futures were likely to find support at $2.785, the low from July 20, and resistance at $2.976, the high from June 17.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended July 17 rose by 61 billion cubic feet, below expectations for an increase of 70 billion and following a build of 99 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Supplies rose by 92 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 53 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.828 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 622 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 81 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.747 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

On Wednesday, natural gas rose 1.5 cents, or 0.52%, to close at $2.897 as market players assessed the outlook for U.S. demand and supply levels.

Updated weather forecasting models continued to call for higher-than-normal temperatures across most parts of the U.S. in the first half of the week, before a shift to cooler weather pushes readings to near normal across much of Northeast and Midwest late in the week.

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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