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posted on 14 October 2016 Weekly Summary 14 October 2016

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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.22%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.22%, while the S&P 500 index added 0.02%, and the NASDAQ Composite index gained 0.02%. The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 3.24% to 16.15.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which rose 1.91% or 3.19 points to trade at 170.61 at the close. Meanwhile, EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD) added 1.31% or 0.89 points to end at 69.03 and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was up 1.30% or 0.48 points to 37.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), which fell 1.15% or 1.33 points to trade at 114.08 at the close. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) declined 0.77% or 0.40 points to end at 51.63 and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was down 0.58% or 0.69 points to 117.57.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Inc (NYSE:CRM) which rose 5.17% to 74.28, WestRock Co (NYSE:WRK) which was up 3.73% to settle at 46.73 and Level 3 Communications Inc (NYSE:LVLT) which gained 2.36% to close at 46.16.

The worst performers were Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) which was down 5.43% to 12.90 in late trade, HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) which lost 4.39% to settle at 14.48 andEQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) which was down 4.11% to 67.48 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Contravir Pharmaceut(NASDAQ:CTRV) which rose 44.12% to 1.9600, Neonode Inc (NASDAQ:NEON) which was up 24.87% to settle at 1.230 and The First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) which gained 20.71% to close at 21.51.

The worst performers were Taylor Devices Inc (NASDAQ:TAYD) which was down 33.20% to 13.20 in late trade, Ocean Power Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:OPTT) which lost 29.60% to settle at 2.830 and Ultrapetrol Ltd (NASDAQ:ULTR) which was down 22.61% to 0.1780 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1582 to 1549 and 97 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1247 rose and 1245 declined, while 111 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) fell to 52-week lows; down 0.77% or 0.40 to 51.63. Shares in Taylor Devices Inc (NASDAQ:TAYD) fell to 52-week lows; losing 33.20% or 6.56 to 13.20. Shares in The First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) rose to 5-year highs; up 20.71% or 3.69 to 21.51.

Gold for December delivery was down 0.37% or 4.65 to $1252.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.24% or 0.12 to hit $50.32 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 0.08% or 0.04 to trade at $51.99 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.75% to 1.0975, while USD/JPY rose 0.46% to 104.19.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.54% at 98.06.

Read additional news from Reuters at


The dollar held onto gains against the other major currencies on Friday, hovering close to a seven-month peak despite the release of downbeat U.S. consumer sentiment data, as expectations for a 2016 rate hike continued to support.

EUR/USD dropped 0.38% to 1.1016, close to Thursday’s more than two-month trough of 1.0981.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell to 87.9 in October from 91.2 the previous month, disappointing expectations for a rise to 91.9.

The data came after another report showed that U.S. retail sales rose 0.6% in September, in line with expectations and after a revised 0.2% fall the previous month.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, increased by 0.5% last month, beating expectations for a 0.4% gain.

In addition, the U.S. producer price index rose 0.3% in September, compared to expectations for an increase of 0.2%.

Core PPI, which excludes food and energy, ticked up 0.2% last month, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% rise.

The greenback was already broadly supported by the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting released on Wednesday showing that several voting members of the policy committee judged a rate hike would be warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen.

USD/JPY advanced 0.60% to trade at 104.33, re-approaching Thursday’s more than two-month peak of 104.63.

Demand for the safe-haven yen weakened after data earlier showed that China’s consumer price index rose 0.7% in September, beating expectations for an uptick of 0.3%. Year-on-year, consumer prices increased 1.9% last month, compared to expectations for a 1.6% gain.

The positive report eased concerns over global economic growth after data on Thursday showed that China’s trade surplus narrowed to $41.99 billion in September from $52.05 billion the previous month. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to widen to $53.00 billion last month.

GBP/USD slid 0.28% to 1.2222, while USD/CHF added 0.14% to 0.9875.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.94% at 0.7639 and with NZD/USD edging up 0.13% to 0.7106.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD declined 0.42% to 1.3136.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.27% at 97.79, just off Thursday’s seven-month high of 98.12.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

This week speculators were more bullish on the crude and less bullish on Gold, Silver and the Japanese yen. Sentiment turned bearish on the S&P 500 and became more bearish on the euro.

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.



Gold prices held steady on Friday, as a higher U.S. dollar weighed on the precious metal although investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. retail sales and consumer sentiment data, as well as a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen due later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery were little changed at $1,257.35.

The December contract ended Thursday’s session 0.30% higher at $1,257.60 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,251.70, Wednesday’s low and resistance at $1,265.30, the high from October 6.

Gold prices had regained some ground on Thursday thanks to a weaker U.S. dollar, but the greenback moved back higher on Friday morning.

The dollar was still supported by the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting released on Wednesday, which showed that several voting members of the policy committee judged a rate hike would be warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The U.S. dollar was also helped by data on Thursday showing that U.S. initial jobless claims held steady at 246,000 in the week ending October 8. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 8,000.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.30% at 97.83, just off Thursday’s seven-month high of 98.12.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for December delivery added 0.17% to $17.487 a troy ounce, while copper futures for December delivery gained 0.38% to $2.128 a pound.


Oil was higher Friday morning after mixed U.S. stockpile data and ahead of rig count data.

U.S. crude was up 50 cents, or 0.99%, at $50.94 at 07:00 ET, while Brent crude added 0.63% to $52.36. But then slipped later in the day (see Reuters link below).

U.S. crude inventories rose for the first time in six weeks, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released Thursday.

The EIA reported a build-up of 4.9 million barrels in crude stocks in the latest week.

However, distillate and gasoline inventories fell by more than expected.

Baker Hughes data on the number of rigs operating in the U.S. are due out later Friday.

The pick-up in oil on hopes of a concrete agreement by OPEC next month to curb output could spark an increase in U.S. shale activity.

The dollar index was higher. A stronger dollar dampens demand for oil.

See also the later report from Reuters at Oil slips below $52 as abundant supplies weigh.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures reversed losses on Thursday morning, spiking to the highest levels of the session after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose less than expected last week.

Natural gas for delivery in November on the New York Mercantile Exchange rallied 6.9 cents, or 2.15%, to $3.279 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (14:33GMT). Futures were at around $3.169 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 79 billion cubic feet in the week ended October 7, below expectations for an increase of 87 billion cubic feet.

That compared with a gain of 80 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 97 billion a year earlier and a five-year average build of 92 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.759 trillion cubic feet, just 1.5% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 5.1% above the five-year average for this time of year.

U.S. natural gas futures touched a 22-month peak of $3.300 earlier this week, as the outlook for a colder winter boosted demand expectations for the heating fuel.

Gas futures have made a dramatic recovery in recent months, rising nearly 50% since hitting a 20-year low of $1.611 in early March, as an unusually warm summer helped trim a supply surplus that was weighing on prices.

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