Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 14 August 2015

August 14th, 2015
in contributors, syndication, forex

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.40%

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in theUtilities, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.40%, while theS&P 500 index gained 0.39%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.29%.

Follow up:

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD), which rose 1.57% or 0.83 points to trade at 53.86 at the close. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) added 1.15% or 0.33 points to end at 29.03 and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was up 1.12% or 0.29 points to 26.08 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which fell 0.37% or 0.29 points to trade at 78.36 at the close. Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) declined 0.36% or 0.17 points to end at 47.49 and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) was down 0.33% or 0.36 points to 107.16.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) which rose 7.42% to 41.38, Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) which was up 4.28% to settle at 78.13 andBest Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) which gained 2.93% to close at 32.64.

The worst performers were Viacom B Inc (NASDAQ:VIAB) which was down 4.55% to 43.67 in late trade, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO) which lost 4.54% to settle at 22.10 and Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) which was down 4.33% to 16.93 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Prima BioMed Ltd(NASDAQ:PBMD) which rose 44.00% to 1.440, Southcoast Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SOCB) which was up 43.02% to settle at 12.900 and Energy Focu(NASDAQ:EFOI) which gained 39.90% to close at 19.18.

The worst performers were xG Technology Inc (NASDAQ:XGTI) which was down 59.27% to 0.900 in late trade, 6D Global Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SIXD) which lost 29.53% to settle at 3.03 and Sfx Enterta (NASDAQ:SFXE) which was down 28.35% to 1.39 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1671 to 795; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1549 rose and 1008 declined, while 6 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) rose to all time highs; rising 7.42% or 2.86 to 41.38. Shares in Viacom B Inc (NASDAQ:VIAB) fell to 3-years lows; losing 4.55% or 2.08 to 43.67. Shares in Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) fell to 52-week lows; losing 4.33% or 0.77 to 16.93. Shares in xG Technology Inc (NASDAQ:XGTI) fell to all time lows; down 59.27% or 1.310 to 0.900. Shares in Southcoast Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SOCB) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 43.02% or 3.880 to 12.900. Shares in Energy Focu (NASDAQ:EFOI) rose to 3-years highs; up 39.90% or 5.47 to 19.18. Shares in Sfx Enterta (NASDAQ:SFXE) fell to all time lows; losing 28.35% or 0.55 to 1.39.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 4.89% to 12.83.

Additional stock news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

EUR/USD fell mildly on Friday but still closed considerably higher for the week, as international creditors approved a comprehensive third bailout for Greece on Friday night hours after the Greek Parliament ratified the deal.

The currency pair traded between 1.1098 and 1.1189 on Friday before settling at 1.1113, down 0.0037 or 0.34% on the session. For the week, the euro gained approximately 1.4% to move slightly positive against the dollar over the last month of trading. The dollar ended the euro's three day winning streak on Thursday by inching up 0.07% for the session.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0808, the low from July 20 and was met with resistance at 1.1213, the high from August 12.

In Brussels, the euro group of finance ministers approved a deal on Friday night to provide Greece with up to €86 billion in stimulus aid, drawing upon the framework of an agreement agreed earlier this week. Euro zone officials anticipate releasing the first tranche of funding, a reported sum of €26 billion, next Wednesday in advance of a bond obligation due to the European Central Bank on August 20. In addition, a reported €10 billion is being set aside to help recapitalize a host of Greek banks that remain on the verge of bankruptcy.

The remaining portions of the initial tranche this year could be paid by the end of the fall, euro group leaders said during a press conference on Friday night. Greece's willingness to enact significant pension reforms over the next several months could compel the International Monetary Fund to participate in the bailout program by October, said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the euro group.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Friday that its Producer Price Index for final demand (PPI-FD) rose by 0.2 for the month of July, as a spike in trade services pushed wholesale prices up moderately. Analysts expected an increase of 0.1 in the headline reading for the month. In spite of the monthly gains, the index still remained down by 0.8 on a year-over-year basis.

The core PPI-FD, which strips out food and energy prices, ticked up by 0.3 for July even as yearly growth decelerated. For the month of July, the reading increased by 0.6, below significant gains of 0.8 a month earlier. The data did not account for the continuing decline in oil prices over the first two weeks of August.

Separately, the Federal Reserve's monthly index of industrial production rose by 0.6% in July on the back of a 10.6% surge in motor vehicle production. Economists anticipated an increase of 0.4% on the month. In addition, manufacturing jumped by 0.8% on the month above analysts' forecasts for a 0.4% gain.

The mixed data provided little support to hawkish sentiments at the Fed for a September interest rate hike.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose more than 0.2% to an intraday high of 96.69, before falling back to 96.60 at the close. By comparison, the index soared to a four-month high at 98.40 late last week.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

Speculators this week were more bearish on the Japanese yen and the S&P 500.

cot.2015.aug.12

Gold

Gold futures inched down in Friday's session but still ended the week broadly higher, as a wave of mixed U.S. economic data provided little indication on whether the Federal Reserve could raise short-term interest rates in September.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery traded in a tight range between $1,111.50 and $1,120.40 a troy ounce before settling at 1,113.00, down 2.60 or 0.23%. For the week, though, gold futures rose by more than 1.5% after completing a three-day winning streak earlier in the week. The precious metal is still down by nearly 4% over the last month as the aftershocks from a 10-day skid in mid-July, its longest losing streak in nearly two decades, continue to be felt.

Gold likely gained support at 1,079.20, the low from July 31 and was met with resistance at 1,126.30, the high from August 13.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Friday that its Producer Price Index for final demand (PPI-FD) rose by 0.2 for the month of July, as a spike in trade services pushed wholesale prices up moderately. Analysts expected an increase of 0.1 in the headline reading for the month. In spite of the monthly gains, the index still remained down by 0.8 on a year-over-year basis.

The core PPI-FD, which strips out food and energy prices, ticked up by 0.3 for July even as yearly growth decelerated. For the month of July, the reading increased by 0.6, below significant gains of 0.8 a month earlier. The data did not account for the continuing decline in oil prices over the first two weeks of August.

Separately, the Federal Reserve's monthly index of industrial production rose by 0.6% in July on the back of a 10.6% surge in motor vehicle production. Economists anticipated an increase of 0.4% on the month. In addition, manufacturing jumped by 0.8% on the month above analysts' forecasts for a 0.4% gain.

Elsewhere, the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center said U.S. consumer sentiment for the first two weeks of August remained virtually unchanged from its final reading in July. University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index for mid-August stood at 92.9, above estimates of 92.5, but below the final July level of 93.1. Within the index, the expectations component fell 0.3 to 83.8 - a level still considered fairly strong following significant gains earlier in the summer. The component provides insight on the nation's long-term employment outlook.

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

USD/CNY fell 0.007 or 0.11% to 6.3912, two days after touching down to fresh four-year lows. Earlier this week, the People's Bank of China rattled global markets by devaluing the yuan by 1.9% -- its largest amount in more than a decade. China is the world's largest producer and second-largest consumer of the precious metal.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose more than 0.2% to an intraday high of 96.69, before falling back to 96.48 in U.S. afternoon trading. By comparison, the index soared to a four-month high at 98.40 late last week.

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

Silver for September delivery fell 0.179 or 1.16% to 15.220.

Copper for September delivery dipped 0.02 or 0.06% to 2.351 a pound.

Oil

U.S. crude futures rallied off fresh six and a half year lows, as a report Friday showed that U.S. oil rigs rose moderately last week for the fourth consecutive week amid a continuing glut of oversupply on global energy markets.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for September delivery traded between $41.46 and $42.92 a barrel before settling at $42.33, up 0.10 or 0.22% on the session. For the week, Texas Long Sweet futures fell approximately 2% amid a rough, volatile stretch of trading over the past five days. On three of the five sessions on the week, WTI crude moved in an up or down direction by at least 2.45%. Over the last month of trading, U.S. crude futures are still down by roughly 22%, suffering one of its worst periods in a decade.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for September delivery wavered between $48.76 and $49.84 a barrel before closing at $48.91, down 0.73 or 1.47%. The spread between the international and the U.S. benchmarks of crude narrowed to 6.58, down from Thursday's level of 7.36 at the close.

Oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said in its Weekly Rig Count on Friday that U.S. oil rigs increased by two to 672 last week for the week ending on August 7, marking the fourth straight week of weekly builds. Oil rigs have gradually moved higher after experiencing builds in six of the last seven weeks, following more than 25 weeks of weekly draws. Last fall, the U.S. oil rig count peaked above 1,600.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories for the week fell by 1.7 million barrels, in line with expectations for a 1.6 million decline. The moderate draw extends sharp declines from a week earlier when U.S. crude stockpiles plunged by 4.4 million barrels in the final week of July. At 453.6 million, crude inventories nationwide remain near its highest level at this time of year in at least 80 years.

Investors have been more focused on steady production declines, as U.S. crude output fell below 9.4 million barrels per day last week to its lowest level since early-May. At the same time, OPEC announced that its output increased by 100,000 bpd in July to 31.5 million bpd even as Saudi Arabia experienced a mild dip in production. A surge in Iranian output helped push OPEC production to its highest level in three years.

As crude prices threaten to drop into the low to mid $30s, some of the smaller members of OPEC have called on the world's largest cartel to step in to stabilize prices. On Tuesday, Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro said the nation has advised OPEC leaders to call an emergency meeting to discuss a strategy for combating the rapidly falling prices. Oil sales comprise roughly 45% of the Venezuelan Federal budget and 12% of its GDP.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose more than 0.2% to an intraday high of 96.69, before falling back to 96.48 in U.S. afternoon trading. By comparison, the index soared to a four-month high at 98.40 late last week.

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

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

Natural gas futures extended losses on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. natural gas supplies rose more than expected last week.

Natural gas for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 8.5 cents, or 2.88%, to trade at $2.847 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.912 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended August 7 rose by 65 billion cubic feet, above expectations for an increase of 55 billion and following a build of 32 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Supplies rose by 79 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change is an increase of 48 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.977 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 521 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 81 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2.896 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

A day earlier, natural gas rallied to $2.934, the most since July 23, before closing at $2.931, up 8.7 cents, or 3.06%, as forecasts for later this month turned warmer, boosting near-term demand expectations for the heating fuel.

Updated weather forecasting models pointed to warmer-than-normal temperatures across many regions, including the east, central and southern U.S., after August 20 and until the end of the month, boosting late-summer cooling demand for the fuel.

Forecasts originally called for mostly average summer temperatures during the period.

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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