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posted on 26 August 2016

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 26 August 2016

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.29%

U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, Technology and Financials sectors led shares higher while losses in the Utilities, Telecoms and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.16%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 0.13%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), which rose 0.87% or 0.54 points to trade at 62.86 at the close. Meanwhile, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) added 0.48% or 0.17 points to end at 35.26 and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was up 0.40% or 0.47 points to 119.04 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), which fell 1.25% or 0.66 points to trade at 52.09 at the close. McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) declined 0.83% or 0.96 points to end at 114.47 and EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD) was down 0.83% or 0.58 points to 69.66.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ:ADSK) which rose 8.12% to 68.87, Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) which was up 3.99% to settle at 33.33 and WestRock Co (NYSE:WRK) which gained 2.12% to close at 48.07.

The worst performers were Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ:ULTA) which was down 6.12% to 254.85 in late trade, Signet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE:SIG) which lost 3.34% to settle at 80.65 and Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS) which was down 3.12% to 27.61 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc (NASDAQ:EGLE) which rose 29.99% to 9.190, Adamis Pharma (NASDAQ:ADMP) which was up 25.27% to settle at 3.47 and Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:STAF) which gained 21.71% to close at 1.570.

The worst performers were Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp (NASDAQ:NYMX) which was down 23.72% to 3.730 in late trade, Aceto Corporation (NASDAQ:ACET) which lost 21.53% to settle at 20.16 and Ultrapetrol Ltd (NASDAQ:ULTR) which was down 16.32% to 0.3230 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1920 to 1221 and 104 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1256 fell and 1243 advanced, while 115 ended unchanged.

Shares in Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ:ADSK) rose to all time highs; gaining 8.12% or 5.17 to 68.87.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 0.51% to 13.70 a new 1-month high.

Gold for December delivery was down 0.03% or 0.35 to $1324.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in October rose 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $47.34 a barrel, while the October Brent oil contract rose 0.12% or 0.06 to trade at $49.73 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.73% to 1.1200, while USD/JPY rose 1.26% to 101.80.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.80% at 95.44.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The dollar initially popped higher before turning lower against the other major currencies on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the case for U.S. interest rate hikes has "strengthened".

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, initially hit highs of 94.98, before pulling back to 94.39, down 0.32% for the day.

The dollar initially strengthened after Yellen said in a speech at Jackson Hole that the case for raising U.S. interest rates has strengthened in recent months, citing improvements in the labor market and hopes for modest economic growth.

But the dollar then reversed initial gains on the view that the timing of any such monetary tightening is still some way off.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in December.

Expectations of higher interest rates typically boost the dollar by making it more attractive to yield seeking investors.

Earlier Friday, official data showed that U.S. second quarter growth was revised down slightly.

The Commerce Department said U.S. economic growth in the three months to June was revised to an annual rate of 1.1%, from an earlier estimate of 1.2%.

The euro was slightly higher, with EUR/USD up 0.11% to 1.1294.

The dollar was weaker against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.28% to 100.23.

Sterling also pushed higher, with GBP/USD rising 0.3%% to 1.3231.

Earlier Friday, data confirmed that the U.K. economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarterand expanded 2.2% on a year over year basis, in line with preliminary readings and economists' forecasts.

The data indicated that the U.K. economy had remained strong ahead of the Brexit referendum.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

This week speculators were less bearish on the euro and more bullish on stocks, gold, oil, Japanese yen and Canadian dollar.

Note: This data closes on Wednesday so the last two days of trading are not reflected. There were was very little change in investor sentiment this week.

cot.2016.aug.24

Gold

Gold prices ticked higher on Friday as the dollar dipped following a slight downward revision to U.S. second quarter economic growth, but investors remained wary ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the day.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.79% at $1,335.3 an ounce by 0858 ET from around $1,331.45 earlier.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, dipped to 94.53 from around 94.59 earlier.

The Commerce Department said U.S. economic growth for the second quarter was revised slightly to an annual rate of 1.1%, from an earlier estimate of 1.2%.

The dollar remained on the defensive as traders waited to see if the speech by the Fed chief at the Jackson Hole central bank symposium later Friday would provide any fresh indications on the future path of U.S. interest rates.

Yellen could restate the hawkish view of the U.S. economy expressed by Fed officials in recent weeks or echo the minutes of the Fed's July meeting, which indicated that officials are divided on when to raise rates.

Recent upbeat comments by Fed officials were seen as boosting the prospects for a rate hike this year.

An increase in interest rates would boost the greenback by making it more attractive to yield-seeking investors, while weighing on gold by making it more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Among other precious metals, silver futures for September delivery were up 1.03% to

Oil

Oil prices rose on Friday following reports that missiles from Yemen had struck oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and as the dollar weakened following remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Crude oil for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 50 cents, or 1.06%, to trade at $47.83 a barrel by 1113 ET.

Global benchmark Brent was up 49 cents or 0.93% to $50.16 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil prices jumped following media reports that Yemeni missiles hit facilities belonging to the Saudi state oil giant Aramco.

Oil prices received an additional boost as the dollar weakened against a basket of currencies after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments at Jackson Hole.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, initially hit highs of 94.98, before turning lower.

The dollar initially strengthened after Yellen said that the case for raising U.S. interest rates has strengthened in recent months, citing improvements in the labor market and hopes for modest economic growth.

But the dollar then reversed initial gains on the view that the timing of any monetary tightening is still some way off.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in December.

Expectations of higher interest rates typically boost the dollar by making it more attractive to yield seeking investors.

Oil prices had weakened earlier Friday after Saudi's energy minister played down expectations that major producers might agree next month to cap output in order to support the market.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures rallied to a three-week high on Thursday, after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose less than forecast last week.

Natural gas for delivery in September on the New York Mercantile Exchange touched an intraday peak of $2.848 per million British thermal units, the most since August 4.

It was last at $2.826 by 10:32AM ET (14:32GMT), up 3.0 cents, or 1.11%. Futures were at around $2.829 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. rose by 11 billion cubic feet in the week ended August 19, below expectations for an increase of 18 billion.

That compared with a gain of 22 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 67 billion a year earlier and a five-year average of 66 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.350 trillion cubic feet, 8.3% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 8.2% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, forecasts for warmer than normal temperatures across most parts of the continental U.S. in the days ahead provided further support.

Natural gas futures are up almost 10% so far this week as traders reacted to forecasts for scorching heat across most of the country through September 5.

According to AccuWeather, the high in Washington DC on September 1 is expected to be 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius), three more than normal.

Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.

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