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posted on 02 December 2016

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 02 December 2016

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.11%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.11%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.04%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which rose 1.18% or 0.40 points to trade at 34.16 at the close. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) added 0.78% or 0.64 points to end at 82.50 and Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was up 0.72% or 0.44 points to 61.20 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 1.52% or 3.45 points to trade at 223.18 at the close. Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) declined 1.13% or 1.09 points to end at 95.15 and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was down 0.91% or 0.66 points to 71.87.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT) which rose 4.45% to 31.44, Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) which was up 4.03% to settle at 33.57 and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) which gained 3.76% to close at 28.42.

The worst performers were PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) which was down 5.15% to 102.43 in late trade, Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS) which lost 4.15% to settle at 218.70 and Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) which was down 3.79% to 59.72 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Neovasc Inc (NASDAQ:NVCN) which rose 67.38% to 0.860, Vertex Energy Inc (NASDAQ:VTNR) which was up 30.48% to settle at 1.370 and Perfumania Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PERF) which gained 22.58% to close at 1.900.

The worst performers were Memorial Production Partners LP (NASDAQ:MEMP) which was down 31.41% to 0.480 in late trade, Sphere 3D Corp (NASDAQ:ANY) which lost 23.72% to settle at 0.595 and Yulong Eco-Materials Ltd (NASDAQ:YECO) which was down 19.64% to 0.900 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1678 to 1465 and 87 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1226 fell and 1223 advanced, while 168 ended unchanged.

Shares in Yulong Eco-Materials Ltd (NASDAQ:YECO) fell to all time lows; falling 19.64% or 0.220 to 0.900.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.21% to 14.04.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.68% or 7.95 to $1177.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 1.06% or 0.54 to hit $51.60 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.80% or 0.43 to trade at $54.37 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.09% to 1.0669, while USD/JPY fell 0.51% to 113.53.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.29% at 100.73.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The dollar declined Friday as a dip in U.S. wages in the Labor Department’s November jobs report confounded forex traders. The dollar closed at 1.0667 versus the euro. On Thursday, the figure was 1.0661.

The US Dollar Index was down during the trading day 0.3% to 91.30.The dollar dropped against the yen, but stayed steady against the pound and the euro.

The U.S. Labor Department reported non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 178,000 last month from October, whilst the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nearly a decade.

Average hourly earnings fell 0.1% from October, while year-over-year wage growth slowed to 2.5% from 2.8% growth in October, according to the federal labor department report, released this morning.

But market sentiment concentrated the surprising monthly decline in private-sector wages, driving the greenback lower against the USD/JPY, the GBP/USD, and the EUR/USD.

The yen had been falling, by as much as 8%, against the dollar, during the previous two weeks, in the wake of the U.S. presidential election, which saw Donald Trump, the Republican populist, defeat Democratic insider and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton and a proxy had called for a recount of the vote in the state of Wisconsin, and the former First Lady is said to have gained one vote as a result of that very controversial endeavor.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

This week speculators remained extremely bullish on gold (although weakening from a week ago) and oil, very bearish on the pound and euro, while reversing from bullish to bearish on the yen.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday so the last three days of trading are not reflected.

cot.2016.dec.01

Gold

Gold prices fluctuated Friday morning, gaining and and losing nine dollars an ounce during morning trading, as investors dissected the latest U.S. economic indicators.

The precious metal settled at 1179.20, or up 9.8, today.

The price of gold for delivery in February was at one point this morning up 0.7% at $1,177.70 a troy ounce, but also dropped as low as $1,168.40 per troy ounce.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nearly a decade, while non-farm payrolls rose by 178,000. Economists had expected 180,000 new jobs and a jobless rate of 4.9% in November. There are still some 90 million Americans who are not in the U.S. workforce, however, due to structural changes over the last decade in the U.S. economy. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he believed, during the campaign this summer and fall, that unemployment in the U.S. was actually closer to 25% if those who are dispirited and no longer looking for a job, not retirees, were included in the unemployment figures. Backing up this line of analytical thinking is a figure from the unemployment report of this month that indicates more than 400,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force last month.

Earnings for private sector, non-government employees, also, surprisingly, declined last month in the U.S.

Many investors believe that today's new economic reports will prompt the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. to tighten monetary policy. These expectations for higher interest rates have weighed heavily on gold, which competes with yield-bearing investments like bonds.

Oil

Crude oil closed at $51.63, up 0.57% on Friday. Oil prices fluctuated throughout the session, two days after energy policy ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) settled on a new production cutting pact at a meeting in Austria. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was down by about 1% to $53.45 in London trading.

Overall, Brent Oiland Crude Oil pries were up signficantly during the day, more than 12% since Wednesday’s deal, Later, prices climbed.

Oil analysts at J.P. Morgan Chase and other industry analysts on Wall Street say the OPEC cuts, if they are actually undertaken, a questionable proposition to many observers, might hold prices between $55 and $60 a barrel - a level OPEC members have said they are seeking.

There was word on the street that some of the less affluent oil producing nations, like Venezuala, and even Angola, in South America and Africa, respectively, may break with the oil production pact.

The U.S. is expected to move forward with expansive plans for oil and gas production. At an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, last night, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump reiterated campaign promises that his new administration will clear regulatory hurdles for oil, gas, natural gas and shale producers, come Jan. 20, 2017, his inauguration day in Washington D.C. New production in the U.S. will lower prices for American consumers, and reduce reliance on foreign oil.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

No report this week.

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