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posted on 17 March 2017 Weekly Wrap-Up 17 March 2017

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U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.10%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.10%, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.13%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), which rose 1.08% or 2.05 points to trade at 192.36 at the close. Meanwhile, Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) added 1.07% or 1.91 points to end at 180.10 and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) was up 0.99% or 1.11 points to 113.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 1.72% or 4.28 points to trade at 243.94 at the close. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) declined 1.05% or 0.96 points to end at 90.68 and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was down 0.93% or 1.60 points to 169.70.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) which rose 4.72% to 124.87, Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) which was up 3.81% to settle at 127.01 and Wynn Resorts Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) which gained 3.79% to close at 110.19.

The worst performers were Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN) which was down 6.50% to 168.41 in late trade, Invesco Plc (NYSE:IVZ) which lost 4.44% to settle at 31.23 and Franklin Resources Inc (NYSE:BEN) which was down 3.85% to 42.22 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Pulmatrix Inc (NASDAQ:PULM) which rose 35.08% to 3.161, Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:DFFN) which was up 28.98% to settle at 3.1600 and Northern Technologies (NASDAQ:NTIC) which gained 22.93% to close at 19.30.

The worst performers were Innocoll AG (NASDAQ:INNL) which was down 33.16% to 1.2500 in late trade, Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BLPH) which lost 30.41% to settle at 1.030 and Esperion Th (NASDAQ:ESPR) which was down 20.17% to 23.67 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1934 to 1304 and 39 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1463 rose and 1053 declined, while 109 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) rose to all time highs; up 4.72% or 5.63 to 124.87. Shares in Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) rose to all time highs; gaining 3.81% or 4.66 to 127.01. Shares in Wynn Resorts Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) rose to 52-week highs; up 3.79% or 4.02 to 110.19. Shares in 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) rose to all time highs; rising 1.08% or 2.05 to 192.36. Shares in Northern Technologies (NASDAQ:NTIC) rose to 52-week highs; rising 22.93% or 3.60 to 19.30.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 0.09% to 11.22.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.12% or 1.50 to $1228.60 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.04% or 0.02 to hit $48.73 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract fell 0.02% or 0.01 to trade at $51.73 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.28% to 1.0736, while USD/JPY fell 0.51% to 112.73.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.07% at 100.16.

See also U.S. stocks close lower: Dow positive for the week.

Read additional news from Reuters at


The dollar traded higher against a basket of major currencies on Friday, amid mostly upbeat economic data as industrial production slowed in February while consumer sentiment topped expectations.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.03% to 100.12 by 12:50 EDT.

The dollar turned positive in mid-afternoon trade, on the back of mostly upbeat economic data as manufacturing output and consumer sentiment data topped expectations while industrial production eased in February.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 97.6 in March from 95.7 the previous month while manufacturing output rose for a sixth straight month.

Both consumer sentiment and manufacturing output topped expectations while U.S. industrial production was flat in February, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise.

Elsewhere, the pound continued its rise against the dollar, after hitting a two-week high of $1.2339, fuelled by expectations the Bank of England may hike interest rates soon.

GBP/USD gained 0.22% to $1.2384 while EUR/USD sank to $1.0742, down 0.22%.

Meanwhile, the dollar slipped to a two-week low against the yen earlier during the session with USD/JPY 0.55% lower at 112.69 while USD/CAD rose 0.26% to $1.3352.

Commitments of Traders

Crude oil bullishness continued to pull back, but still remained at very high levels. Bullishness increased for the S&P 500 with longs at a 6-Month high.. Bullishness pulled back for Gold and Silver. All other positions we follow in this report had relatively minor changes. Bearishness increased for the pound and yen; bearishness decreased for the euro and Mexican peso.

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



Gold prices traded slightly above breakeven on Friday, as the yellow metal aimed for its first weekly gain since February, buoyed by the Federal Reserve’s more dovish than expected outlook concerning the pace of interest rate hikes this year.

Although gold prices pulled back from its session high of $1,231.45, after the release of mostly upbeat U.S. economic data, the yellow-metal continued to be supported by the Federal Reserve’s dovish statement released on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve kept its previous outlook of three rate hikes for this year against expectations from market participants that the U.S. central bank was poised to adopt a more aggressive stance concerning the pace of rate hikes in 2017.

Meanwhile, mostly upbeat U.S. economic data heaped pressure on gold prices as manufacturing output and consumer sentiment data topped expectations while industrial production slowed in February.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 97.6 in March from 95.7 the previous month while manufacturing output rose for a sixth straight month.

Both consumer sentiment and manufacturing output topped expectations while U.S. industrial production was flat in February, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise.

Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.65 or 0.13%, to trade at $1,228.75 a troy ounce. The yellow-metal is on track for its first weekly gain since February.

Elsewhere, silver futures gained 0.4% to trade at $17.398 a troy ounce while copper traded higher at $2.69.

Platinum traded at $983.15 up 0.50%.


Crude settled higher on Friday, as investors shrugged off concerns about high levels of U.S. crude inventories while the number of active U.S. drilling rigs rose for a ninth straight week.

Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly U.S. rig count rose by 14 to 631, it was the ninth straight weekly increase.

Crude traded in a narrow $2.5 range this week but ultimately settled positive for the week on Friday as investors mulled over the release of several mostly upbeat energy reports while the slump in the dollar provided support for oil prices.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih relieved some concerns from investors on Thursday, as he said that oil production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers could be extended beyond June if oil stocks stayed above a long-term average.

The somewhat bullish comments from the Saudi Energy Minister came a day after the Energy Information Agency (EIA) revealed that U.S. crude inventories declined to 528.2 million barrels last week, the first decline in nine weeks.

Elsewhere, an OPEC monthly report earlier this week revealed that total production for OPEC is decreasing, as its members pumped 31.95 million barrels per day in February, compared to 32.097 million barrels a day in January.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery gained 3 cents to settle at $48.78 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 3 cents to settle at $51.77 a barrel.

A plunge in the dollar also supported a recovery in crude prices, after investors lost appetite for the greenback, following the Federal Reserve’s dovish statement on Wednesday, as the US central bank stuck with its previous outlook of three rate hikes this year.

Meanwhile, investors braced for a fresh batch of weekly data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) due to be released on Wednesday, March 22 at 10:30 EDT.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures were lower on Thursday, adding to losses after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. fell less than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for April delivery sank 8.0 cents, or around 2.7% to $2.902 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (14:35GMT). Futures were at around $2.918 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 53 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 10, missing market expectations for a drop of 56 billion cubic feet.

That compared with a withdrawal of 68 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 1 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 85 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.242 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.5% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 17.6% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Prices of the heating fuel are down around 22% so far this year as forecasts for warm winter weather weighed on heating demand expectations.

Based on data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, this year’s extremely warm winter has pushed heating demand for natural gas to nearly 20% below average.

About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

Without significant demand for natural gas, inventories could stay near record levels and may even continue to pull prices even lower.

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