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posted on 21 April 2017

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 21 April 2017

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.15%

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Telecoms, Financials and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.15%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.30%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.11%.


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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which rose 1.40% or 0.92 points to trade at 66.42 at the close. Meanwhile, United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) added 0.92% or 1.05 points to end at 114.99 and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) was up 0.86% or 1.28 points to 150.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), which fell 2.40% or 1.16 points to trade at 47.25 at the close. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) declined 2.38% or 0.72 points to end at 29.55 and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) was down 1.20% or 1.03 points to 84.52.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Rockwell Collins Inc (NYSE:COL) which rose 5.13% to 104.70, Stanley Black & Decker Inc (NYSE:SWK) which was up 3.65% to settle at 137.56 and Robert Half International Inc (NYSE:RHI) which gained 2.77% to close at 47.18.

The worst performers were Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:MAT) which was down 13.57% to 21.79 in late trade, Under Armour Inc C (NYSE:UA) which lost 3.20% to settle at 17.530 and Mallinckrodt (NYSE:MNK) which was down 3.14% to 43.52 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Akari Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:AKTX) which rose 25.23% to 20.500, Carver Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:CARV) which was up 22.81% to settle at 4.900 and Globus Maritime Ltd (NASDAQ:GLBS) which gained 21.90% to close at 2.9500.

The worst performers were XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT) which was down 39.89% to 10.23 in late trade, Aevi Genomic Medicine Inc (NASDAQ:GNMX) which lost 17.20% to settle at 1.540 and Onconova Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONTX) which was down 14.92% to 2.1100 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1739 to 1458 and 48 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1432 fell and 1054 advanced, while 135 ended unchanged.

Shares in Rockwell Collins Inc (NYSE:COL) rose to all time highs; gaining 5.13% or 5.11 to 104.70. Shares in Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:MAT) fell to 52-week lows; losing 13.57% or 3.42 to 21.79. Shares in Stanley Black & Decker Inc (NYSE:SWK) rose to all time highs; gaining 3.65% or 4.85 to 137.56. Shares in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose to all time highs; up 1.40% or 0.92 to 66.42. Shares in United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) rose to 52-week highs; rising 0.92% or 1.05 to 114.99. Shares in Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) rose to all time highs; gaining 0.86% or 1.28 to 150.00. Shares in Akari Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:AKTX) rose to 52-week highs; rising 25.23% or 4.130 to 20.500. Shares in Aevi Genomic Medicine Inc (NASDAQ:GNMX) fell to all time lows; losing 17.20% or 0.320 to 1.540. Shares in Onconova Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONTX) fell to all time lows; falling 14.92% or 0.3700 to 2.1100.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 4.10% to 14.73.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.21% or 2.70 to $1286.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 2.21% or 1.12 to hit $49.59 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 2.00% or 1.06 to trade at $51.93 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.08% to 1.0708, while USD/JPY fell 0.16% to 109.14.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.07% at 99.78.

See also Top 5 things that moved markets this past week.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Friday, buoyed by the release of bullish housing data while the euro dipped ahead of the first round of the French presidential election.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.15% to 99.85 by 18:01 EDT.

The dollar remained on track to post its second consecutive week of losses, despite data showing sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. hit a ten-year high in March.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday, existing home sales rose 4.4% in March from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.71m units, which confounded economists’ estimates of a 2.5% gain.

EUR/USD traded at $1.0688, down 0.27%, while EUR/GBP dipped 0.11% to 0.8357, as the upcoming French presidential election overshadowed better than expected data French manufacturing data.

Investors grew concerned about the possibility of strong results for Marine Le pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon at the first round of French presidential election, scheduled for Sunday, April 23.

According to Opinion-Orpi’s daily poll of voting intentions, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron remained a strong favourite to emerge victorious from the first-round of votes - market probabilities predict that Mr Macron would garner 23% of the vote.

Meanwhile, GBP/USD slipped 0.13% to $1.2795, after bearish retail sales data weighed on upside momentum.

USD/JPY traded at 108.99, up 0.31%, while USD/CAD rose by 0.30% to $1.3512.

Commitments of Traders

This week speculators were more bearish on the euro and the pound and more bullish on Oil and Gold. Gold net longsreached a 5-month high.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday so the last three days (this week two because markets were closed Friday) of trading are not reflected.

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Gold

Gold prices inched higher on Friday, as investors braced for the outcome of the French presidential election but expectations that President Trump’s tax reform plan will be implemented sooner rather than later weighed on upside momentum.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $4.70, or 0.37%, to $1,288.50 a troy ounce by 13:40 EDT.

Investors opted for caution ahead of the French presidential election, as opinion polls indicated centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron holds a slender lead over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

According to Opinion-Orpi’s daily poll of voting intentions, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron would garner 23% of the vote while Marine Le pen would garner 22%.

Meanwhile, investors mulled over comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, after he said Thursday, the Trump administration is ‘close’ to bringing forward tax reform.

Bullish expectations concerning Trump’s tax reform plan, which is viewed as a pro-growth policy, had fuelled the recent post-election “Trump rally".

Elsewhere, bullish economic data, showed sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. hit a ten-year high in March.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday, existing home sales rose 4.4% in March from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.71m units, which confounded economists’ estimates of a 2.5% gain.

Gold was the one of the few commodities set for a positive close on Friday, as silver futuresfell 0.65% to $17.90 a troy ounce while copper traded flat at $2.541.

Platinum lost 0.28% to $978.45 while Natural Gas dipped by 1.55% to $3.110.

Oil

Crude settled lower on Friday, as investors grew concerned that growing levels of U.S. oil production would offset OPEC’s efforts to rein in supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery shed $1.09 to settle at $49.62 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent shed $1.13 cents to trade at $51.86 a barrel.

Crude oil prices posted a nearly 7% loss for the week, falling below the key $50 a barrel level, after Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih expressed concerns that rising U.S. oil output would undermine the effectiveness of extending the current OPEC-led deal to cut supply, beyond June.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier during the week, “there is consensus building [concerning a possible extension to the OPEC-led deal] but it’s not done yet".

Meanwhile, U.S. drilling activity didn’t show any sign of a slowdown, after Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported Friday, its weekly U.S. rig count rose by 5 to 688.

Concerns over rising levels of U.S. oil production resumed this week, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported bearish crude inventories earlier this week, and released a report, which showed U.S. shale production was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels a day in May.

Market participants remained hopeful that OPEC members and other oil producers would agree to extend the current deal to cut supply beyond June at the next meeting, scheduled for May 25.

In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The deal to cut supply came into effect in January this year for a period of six-months until June.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures edged lower on Thursday, holding on to losses after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for May delivery shed 1.5 cents, or around 0.5%, to $3.171 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (14:33GMT). Futures were at around $3.170 prior to the release of the supply data.

It gained 4.0 cents on Wednesday, as traders monitored shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for early-spring demand and supply levels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 54 billion cubic feet in the week ended April 14, compared to forecasts for a build of 48 billion.

That compared with a gain of 10 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 7 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 35 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.115 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 14.8% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 13.3% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, a colder weather system will track over the southern and eastern U.S. from Friday through next Wednesday to bring an increase in demand to stronger levels.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting forecasts on early-spring demand.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

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