posted on 13 January 2017
U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Friday, as gains in the Industrials, Financials and Technology sectors led shares higher while losses in the Oil & Gas, Basic Materials and Utilities sectors led shares lower.
The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), which rose 0.99% or 0.52 points to trade at 52.92 at the close. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) added 0.53% or 0.46 points to end at 86.70 and Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) was up 0.52% or 0.49 points to 94.48 in late trade.
The worst performers of the session were Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), which fell 1.24% or 0.84 points to trade at 67.13 at the close. EI du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE:DD) declined 0.69% or 0.51 points to end at 73.60 and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) was down 0.54% or 0.60 points to 110.22.
The top performers on the S&P 500 were Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) which rose 3.50% to 133.70, Monster Beverage 1990 Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) which was up 3.25% to settle at 44.51 and Qorvo Inc (NASDAQ:QRVO) which gained 3.04% to close at 58.57.
The worst performers were Endo International PLC (NASDAQ:ENDP) which was down 4.90% to 13.19 in late trade, Signet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE:SIG) which lost 4.24% to settle at 80.78 and PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) which was down 4.10% to 89.31 at the close.
The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Globus Maritime Ltd (NASDAQ:GLBS) which rose 135.85% to 7.2400, Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD) which was up 63.46% to settle at 1.700 and DexCom Inc (NASDAQ:DXCM) which gained 25.91% to close at 85.13.
The worst performers were Cellect Biotechnology Ltd (NASDAQ:APOP) which was down 28.81% to 4.35 in late trade, Uranium Resources Inc (NASDAQ:URRE) which lost 19.49% to settle at 2.5200 and Opexa Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:OPXA) which was down 16.43% to 0.961 at the close.
Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1997 to 1197 and 51 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1788 rose and 745 declined, while 99 ended unchanged.
The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 2.17% to 11.29.
Gold for February delivery was down 0.15% or 1.85 to $1197.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February fell 0.94% or 0.50 to hit $52.51 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.80% or 0.45 to trade at $55.56 a barrel.
EUR/USD was up 0.26% to 1.0640, while USD/JPY fell 0.17% to 114.50.
The US Dollar Index was down 0.26% at 101.20.
Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.
Forex markets reacted to positive retail sales data today, pushing the dollar up against the yen, the euro and the pound.
The euro/dollar pairing was up 0.29% to 1.0641.
The yen/dollar pairing was down 0.17% to 114.50.
The pound/dollar pair increased 0.21% to 1.2181. The price of gold was also down on the day's strong retail sales data, settling at 1197.80, a decline of 0.17%.
Analysts noted the dollar gained against the yen, but was little changed against the euro on Friday. The greenback is rebounding from five-week lows. Retail sales data fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve Bank would indeed raise interest rates three times this year, as previously announced.
The U.S. Commerce Department today reported that retail sales increased 0.6% in December, while November's retail sales were revised upward to reveal a 0.2% rise instead of the previously reported 0.1% gain.
President-elect Trump takes office a week from today. Only CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are expected to be confirmed by the Senate before the president takes the oath of office on Friday afternoon.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), may see his nomination delayed by opposition Democrats.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is said to be considering a "no vote," or not voting at all, in committee, in order to delay Tillerson's confirmation.
Rubio lost the GOP nomination for president to Trump last year, failing even in his home state of Florida.
This week speculators changed net positions very little except for bullishness declining for S&P 500 and increasing for gold.
Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday so the last three days of trading are not reflected.
Gold prices slipped lower on Friday, pulling away from a seven-week high as the U.S. dollar regained some strength, although ongoing U.S. political uncertainties continued to support demand for the safe-haven precious metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery were down 0.31% at $1,196.15, just off Thursday’s seven-week high of $1,204.30.
The February contract ended Thursday’s session 0.22% lower at $1,130.70 an ounce.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,176.50, Wednesday’s low and resistance at $1,204.30, Thursday’s high. Friday's close ended at $1197.95 a troy ounce, down 1.85 (-0.15%).
The dollar found some support after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy is doing well and faces no serious obstacles in the short term, with the labor market looking strong.
Ms. Yellen was speaking at a town hall meeting with educators, in Washington.
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.
But the greenback was still under heavy pressure since U.S. President-elect Donald Trump failed to offer details on his promises to boost fiscal spending and cut taxes at a highly-anticipated news conference on Wednesday.
The dollar was also hit after St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard said on Thursday that the election of Donald Trump has not yet switched the U.S. economy to a new "regime" that requires a quick rise in interest rates, which can remain "fairly low" at least through 2017.
Bullard also said that "any effects from the new administration's policies are only likely to be observed in 2018 and 2019".
Global oil prices are set to settle this week down slightly, as analysts say speculators are taking a break from making bullish bets. This is removing some of the momentum from the market, which had been rallying for the last month.
American oil data is also putting downward pressure on crude, according to analysts.
What is more, sources at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that production cuts likely won't go as planned by the oil cartel. "Compliance won't be 100 percent, it never is," the source told reporters.
The official added that a compliance rate of 60% would be good enough to accomplish the alliance's goals. Compliance of 80% would be considered "positive," the OPEC official said.
The comments come after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait this week disclosed that they have cut more than they had promised, hoping the reductions will help make up for some non-compliance elsewhere.
Saudi output is down below 10 million barrels per day and Saudi officials said it could slip further in February.
The U.S. is not cooperating with OPEC, and that factor is hurting global prices as well.
Crude stockpiles in the U.S. rose last week by 4.1 million barrels, according to the U.S. government.
Gasoline stocks also increased. Reports from the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly newsletter showed an increase in output by about 176,000 bpd last week, considered a staggering increase in production by analysts that may offset OPEC production cuts.
Natural Gas (Thursday Report)
U.S. natural gas futures extended sharp gains on Thursday morning, climbing to a more than one-week high after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. fell more than expected last week.
Natural gas for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped almost 7% to a session peak of $3.450 per million British thermal units, a level not seen since January 3.
It was last at $3.427 by 10:35AM ET (15:35GMT), up 20.3 cents, or around 6.3%. Futures were at around $3.368 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. declined by 151 billion cubic feet in the week ended January 6, exceeding market expectations for a drop of 144 billion cubic feet.
That compared with a withdrawal of 49 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 168 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 167 billion cubic feet.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.160 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.3% lower than levels at this time a year ago and around 0.1% below the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasts for the end of January turned colder, which should boost demand for the heating fuel. Weather models initially predicted mild temperatures throughout most parts of the U.S. during the period.
Natural-gas markets have been volatile in recent weeks, changing course rapidly in response to shifting outlooks in short-term weather patterns.
About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.
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