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posted on 30 December 2016

Investing,com Weekly Wrap-up 30 December 2016

Written by , Investing.com

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

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Consumer Services and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, while the S&P 500index fell 0.46%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.90%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which rose 0.53% or 1.27 points to trade at 239.45 at the close. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) added 0.47% or 0.40 points to end at 86.29 and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was up 0.22% or 0.16 points to 74.08 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which fell 1.17% or 0.73 points to trade at 62.16 at the close. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) declined 0.98% or 0.36 points to end at 36.30 and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) was down 0.87% or 1.07 points to 121.72.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Endo International PLC (NASDAQ:ENDP) which rose 5.04% to 16.47, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) which was up 2.73% to settle at 23.36 and SL Green Realty Corporation (NYSE:SLG) which gained 2.33% to close at 107.55.

The worst performers were NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) which was down 4.21% to 106.74 in late trade, Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) which lost 3.40% to settle at 34.07 and Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:SWKS) which was down 2.48% to 74.66 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were ImmunoGen Inc (NASDAQ:IMGN) which rose 29.11% to 2.04, Rubicon Technology Inc (NASDAQ:RBCN) which was up 24.74% to settle at 0.6000 and Synthesis Energy Systems Inc (NASDAQ:SYMX) which gained 23.44% to close at 1.0000.

The worst performers were Innocoll AG (NASDAQ:INNL) which was down 61.02% to 0.69 in late trade, Interpace Diagnostics Group Inc (NASDAQ:IDXG) which lost 20.00% to settle at 4.4000 and Opko Health Inc (NASDAQ:OPK) which was down 18.85% to 9.30 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1771 to 1459 and 38 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1527 fell and 997 advanced, while 110 ended unchanged.

Shares in Innocoll AG (NASDAQ:INNL) fell to all time lows; down 61.02% or 1.08 to 0.69.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 5.09% to 14.05.

Gold for February delivery was down 0.58% or 6.70 to $1151.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.13% or 0.07 to hit $53.84 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.19% or 0.11 to trade at $56.74 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.31% to 1.0520, while USD/JPY rose 0.35% to 116.97.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.24% at 102.41.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The U.S. dollar was on track to notch a fourth straight year of gains against a basket of major currencies on Friday, despite briefly tumbling against the euro during the Asian trading session on thin liquidity. But, by the close of trade the US Dollar Index was down 0.24% at 102.41.

The dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, ended with a gain 3.3 percent for the year, even as the euro briefly climbed nearly two full cents in overnight trading to $1.0651, its highest since Dec. 14.

The index has gained 4.3 percent since the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election on expectations that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's plan to boost fiscal stimulus would benefit the currency. The Federal Reserve's projections on Dec. 14 of three rate hikes for 2017 instead of the two foreseen in September have also contributed.

Several analysts have said the dollar's uptrend remains intact next year, but they have not ruled out the risk of declines in the greenback, given their doubts surrounding how much dollar appreciation a Trump White House will tolerate.

"Much depends on how the Trump presidency and the Chinese economy work out," said Marshall Gittler, chief market analyst for retail broker FX Primus. "In general, I expect the dollar to continue to gain."

The dollar index was last off 0.62 percent at 102.040, down from a 14-year high of 103.65 hit on Dec. 20. The dollar was up 0.21 percent against the yen at 116.77 yen , but was set to post its first yearly loss in five years against the Japanese currency, of about 3 percent.

Sterling, which has lost more than 16 percent of its value against the dollar to mark its worst year since 2008 on worries over Britain's June 24 "Brexit" vote to leave the European Union, was last up 0.82 percent at $1.2368.

The euro was up 0.67 percent against the dollar at $1.0561, though down nearly a full cent from its session high. Jason Leinwand, founder and chief executive of FirstLine FX in Randolph, New Jersey said :

"The move is completely generated out of a New Year's Eve lack of liquidity."

Other big losers this year against the dollar have been the Mexican peso <MXN=> and the Chinese yuan , which have lost 20.2 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

This week speculators became less bearish on the euro; more bearish on the yen; crude oil net longs rose again to another new 2-year high. Speculators were less bearish this week on the euro, the pound, the S&P 500. The yen hit a16-month high for net shorts..

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

cot.2016.dec.28

Gold

The price of gold declined on intraday trading on Friday, but is still on track to finish the year with a 6% increase.

Gold was trading at $1155.80 per ounce, down $2.90, or 0.21%.

Silver was down too, at $16.04 per ounce, a decline of 0.17 cents, or 1.10%.

Other commodity prices, including platinum, palladium, and copper, were rising on intraday trading.

A major dip in the U.S. dollar index late this week is encouraging buying in the gold and silver.

Prices of gold and silver charts remain bearish, however.

A rhetorical conflict between the U.S. and Russia was impacting the dollar, which also slammed precious metals.

Russia's foreign secretary called the U.S. "foreign policy losers" for issuing sanctions over alleged, unproven hacking allegations against Moscow, and over-the-top claims that social engineering, or hacking, of John Podesta's G-Mail account led to the overwhelming electoral college defeat of Hillary Clinton in the presidential election this fall.

Oil

Oil prices settled slightly lower on Friday, the year's last trading day, but attained their biggest annual gain since 2009, after OPEC and partners agreed to cut output to reduce a supply overhang that has depressed prices for two years.

A two-rig rise in the oil rig count in the United States, the ninth weekly increase in a row, as reported by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc (N:BHI), added to bearish sentiments.

But the total count of 525 for the week, the last for the year, was still below last year's level by 11 rigs.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) (CLc1) crude futures were down 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $53.72 a barrel, while Brent (LCOc1) fell 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $56.82.

Elaine Levin, president of Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker in Washington said:

"Some profit-taking ... very light trading - a lot of people have already done what they needed to do for the year."

Brent rose 52 percent this year and WTI climbed around 45 percent, the largest annual gains since 2009, when the benchmarks rose 78 percent and 71 percent respectively.

Oil prices have slumped since the summer of 2014 from above $100 a barrel. The price rout, due to an oversupply thanks in part to the U.S. shale oil revolution, was accentuated later that year when Saudi Arabia rejected any deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output and instead fought for market share.

But a historic OPEC agreement struck over three months from September that will reduce production from Jan. 1, marked a return to the 13-country group's old objective of defending prices.

Oman told some customers it will reduce term allocations by 5 percent in March, but did not say whether the supply reduction would continue after that.

The rise in prices can be seen as "proof of international credibility," for OPEC and partners, said Igor Yusufov, founder of the Fund Energy investment firm and a former Russian energy minister.

He said the rise, a "ponderable New Yew present" for producers, is propelled by expectations of expectations of oil demand growth.

Analysts at JBC said major forecasters diverge on their specific predictions. They said in a note to clients:

"We see a big variation in demand growth assessments for 2017, ranging from +1.22 million bpd (barrels per day) ... to +1.57 million bpd."

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures declined in pre-New Year holiday trade on Thursday morning, but prices held near a two-year high after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. fell much more than the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 7.0 cents, or 1.8%, to $3.828 per million British thermal units by 10:49AM ET (15:49GMT). Futures were at around $3.820 prior to the release of the supply data.

Prices rallied to $3.902 in the prior session, a level not seen since December 2014, amid colder forecasts for January.

Trade is expected to remain thin for the rest of the week as most investors are away for year-end holidays.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. declined by a whopping 237 billion cubic feet in the week ended December 23, exceeding market expectations for a drop of 222 billion cubic feet.

It was the biggest withdrawal for the week since at least 1994.

That compared with a withdrawal of 209 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 58 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 80 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.360 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 11.0% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 2.3% below the five-year average for this time of year.

The amount of gas in storage fell below the weekly five-year average for the first time since May 2015.

Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models predicted that portions of the West and northern U.S. will be hit with rain, snow and slightly cool temperatures over the next few days.

Looking ahead, Artic air is expected into the West and then spreading south and east in the first week of January, boosting demand expectations for the heating fuel.

Natural gas prices typically rise during the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

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