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posted on 15 April 2016

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 15 April 2016

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.16%

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in theOil & Gas, Technology and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.16%, while the S&P 500index declined 0.10%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), which rose 0.61% or 0.28 points to trade at 46.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) added 0.52% or 0.29 points to end at 55.65 and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) was up 0.47% or 0.32 points to 69.08 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which fell 2.01% or 2.25 points to trade at 109.85 at the close. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) declined 1.44% or 2.32 points to end at 158.61 and Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) was down 1.24% or 0.35 points to 27.90.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG) which rose 5.08% to 9.72, Urban Outfitters Inc (NASDAQ:URBN) which was up 3.35% to settle at 31.43 and Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) which gained 3.19% to close at 8.74.

The worst performers were Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRTX) which was down 6.12% to 81.75 in late trade, Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) which lost 5.61% to settle at 25.59 and National Oilwell Varco Inc (NYSE:NOV) which was down 3.89% to 27.68 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Great Basin Scientific Inc(NASDAQ:GBSN) which rose 62.27% to 4.4300, Energy XXI Ltd (NASDAQ:EXXI) which was up 48.94% to settle at 0.1902 and Skyline Medical Inc (NASDAQ:SKLN) which gained 47.49% to close at 0.2500.

The worst performers were Cellectar Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CLRB) which was down 31.15% to 2.1000 in late trade, Donegal Group B Inc (NASDAQ:DGICB) which lost 21.04% to settle at 12.950 and Super Micro Computer Inc (NASDAQ:SMCI) which was down 19.60% to 26.79 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1792 to 1533 and 25 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1309 fell and 1272 advanced, while 71 ended unchanged.

Shares in Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) fell to 3-years lows; down 5.61% or 1.52 to 25.59. Shares in Cellectar Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CLRB) fell to all time lows; down 31.15% or 0.9500 to 2.1000.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.44% to 13.66.

Additional stock news from Reuters at Investing.com with more details on U.S. markets.

Forex

The dollar pushed broadly lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as the release of downbeat U.S. data fueled concerns over the strength of the economy, dampened demand for the greenback.

USD/JPY dropped 0.63% to 108.74.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell to a seven-month low of 89.7 in April from 91.0 the previous month. Analysts had expecte the index to rise to 92.0 this month.

The report came after official data showed that U.S. industrial production decreased by 0.6% last month, worse than expectations for a decline of 0.1%. Manufacturing production declined by 0.3% last month, worse than forecasts for a 0.1% increase.

Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index improved to 9.65 this month from a reading of 0.62 in March. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 2.21 in April.

EUR/USD gained 0.36% to trade at 1.1305, off the previous session's two-and-a-half week low of 1.1233.

Meanwhile, the dollar was lower against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.20% at 1.4181 and turned lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.10% at 0.9659.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were higher, with AUD/USD up 0.09% at 0.7699 and with NZD/USD advancing 0.85% to 0.6904.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD rose 0.30% to 1.2883, pulling away from Wednesday's nine-month low of 1.2743.

Statistics Canada reported on Friday that manufacturing sales dropped by 3.3% in February, compared to expectations for a 1.5% decline, after an increase of 2.3% the previous month.

Elsewhere, data showed that China's gross domestic product rose by an annualized rate of 6.7% in the first quarter, in line with market expectations, following a growth rate of 6.8% in the three months to December.

Another report showed that Chinese industrial production increased by an annual rate of 6.8% in March, exceeding expectations for a 5.9% gain, after a 5.4% rise the previous month.

The positive data eased concerns over slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.32% at 94.63, moving away from a two-and-a-half week peak of 95.21 hit on Thursday.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

Speculators had another week with little change of sentiment. The S&P 500 sentiment was slightly less bearish, while bullishness increased slightly for the yen and bearishness decreased slightly for the euro. Extreme bullishness continued for both oil and gold, while bullishness increased for silver.

Note: This data closes on Wednesday so the last two days of trading are not reflected.

cot.2016.april.06

Gold

Gold prices regained some ground in European morning hours on Friday, after hitting one-week lows in the previous session due to a stronger U.S. dollar, as the release of upbeat data Chinese economic growth boosted demand for the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery were up 0.38% at $1,231.10.

The June contract ended Thursday's session 1.75% lower at $1,226.50 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,224.60, the low from April 7 and resistance at $1,245.80, Thursday's high.

Data on Friday showed that China's gross domestic product rose by an annualized rate of 6.7% in the first quarter, in line with market expectations, following a growth rate of 6.8% in the three months to December.

Another report showed that Chinese industrial production increased by an annual rate of 6.8% in March, exceeding expectations for a 5.9% gain, after a 5.4% rise the previous month.

The positive data eased concerns over slowdown in China, the world's biggest gold consumer.

But the precious metal's gains were capped as the U.S. dollar continued to hover near two-and-a-half week highs on Friday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.99, just below Thursday's two-and-a-half week peak of 95.21.

Market participants were eyeing the release of U.S. reports on industrial production and consumer sentiment due later Friday for further indications on the strength of the economy.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending April 9 decreased by 13,000 to 253,000, the lowest level since March 1973.

A separate report showed that the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.1% in March, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% gain. Year-on-year, consumer prices rose 0.9% last month, confounding expectations for an increase of 1.0%.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for May delivery inched up 0.01% to $16.175 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery lost 1.11% to $2.147 a pound.

Oil

Crude futures were steady on Friday in thin business as traders were reluctant to take on new positions ahead of a planned meeting at the weekend of major oil exporters who want to rein in ballooning global over-production.

Brent crude futures were at $43.42 a barrel at 11:28 GMT, 42 cents below their last close.

U.S.Crude futures were down 54 cents at $40.96.

With discussions focussing around freezing output at or near current record levels, most analysts said they have little hope that a potential Doha deal will reduce the glut that has pulled down crude prices by as much as 70% since 2014.

Natural Gas (Monday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures were lower in North American trade on Monday as forecasts for mild weather across the Eastern U.S. this week weighed on the demand outlook for the fuel.

Natural gas for delivery in May on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 6.7 cents, or 3.42%, to trade at $1.92 per million British thermal units by 09.43 AM ET.

Updated weather forecasting models pointed to a mild start over the Eastern U.S. this week, with milder temperatures also expected over much of the country by the end of the week, besides in the Western U.S. where it will remain cooler.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on late-winter heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring's mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption, but a warmer-than-normal 2015-2016 winter and near record production levels have weighed on demand, resulting in low prices for the fuel.

Natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended April 1 rose by 12 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for a gain of 8 billion, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly supply report on Thursday.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 2.480 trillion cubic feet, 40.6% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 35.3% above the five-year average for this time of year.

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