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posted on 18 August 2017 Weekly Wrap-Up 18 August 2017

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.35%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.35%, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.18%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.09%.

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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were CaterpillarInc (NYSE:CAT), which rose 0.69% or 0.78 points to trade at 113.92 at the close. Meanwhile, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) added 0.53% or 0.56 points to end at 106.48 and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) was up 0.50% or 0.38 points to 76.64 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), which fell 4.37% or 2.51 points to trade at 54.95 at the close. Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) declined 2.16% or 0.67 points to end at 30.37 and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) was down 1.46% or 2.18 points to 147.49.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST) which rose 10.67% to 59.02, Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) which was up 7.73% to settle at 105.92 and Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) which gained 2.92% to close at 5.28.

The worst performers were Foot Locker Inc (NYSE:FL) which was down 27.92% to 34.38 in late trade, Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) which lost 5.38% to settle at 117.31 and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) which was down 4.37% to 54.95 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were root9B Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:RTNB) which rose 80.00% to 1.0800, FalconStor Software Inc (NASDAQ:FALC) which was up 33.51% to settle at 0.247 and Sportsmans (NASDAQ:SPWH) which gained 25.43% to close at 4.34.

The worst performers were Roka Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:ROKA) which was down 25.77% to 1.4900 in late trade, Pacific Special Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:PAAC) which lost 23.20% to settle at 7.45 and Valeritas Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:VLRX) which was down 13.54% to 3.58 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1634 to 1424 and 157 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1273 rose and 1206 declined, while 154 ended unchanged.

Shares in Foot Locker Inc (NYSE:FL) fell to 3-years lows; falling 27.92% or 13.32 to 34.38. Shares in Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) rose to all time highs; up 7.73% or 7.60 to 105.92. Shares in Roka Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:ROKA) fell to 52-week lows; falling 25.77% or 0.5173 to 1.4900. Shares in Pacific Special Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:PAAC) fell to all time lows; down 23.20% or 2.25 to 7.45. Shares in Valeritas Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:VLRX) fell to all time lows; losing 13.54% or 0.56 to 3.58.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 8.30% to 14.26.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.06% or 0.83 to $1291.57 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September rose 3.33% or 1.57 to hit $48.66 a barrel, while the October Brent oil contract rose 3.55% or 1.81 to trade at $52.84 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.34% to 1.1763, while USD/JPY fell 0.36% to 109.18.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.34% at 93.32.

See also:

Read more news from Reuters at Wall Street ends down after more White House turmoil.


The dollar traded lower against a basket of global currencies on Friday, as U.S. political drama continued to weigh on sentiment, raising doubts over the Trump administration’s ability to push through its pro-growth economic agenda.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.22% to 93.42.

U.S. political drama remained front and centre on Friday, after Donald Trump told aides he has decided to remove Steve Bannon from his post as chief White house advisor, according to a White House official. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement:

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

The latest twist in the U.S. political saga comes on the back of growing concerns that recent controversies engulfing U.S. President Donald Trump could derail the president’s ability to push through his pro-growth agenda.

Losses in the greenback, however, were capped as a preliminary reading for consumer sentiment data for August topped expectations adding to narrative of a strengthening U.S. economy.

The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, rose to 97.6 in August. Economists estimated the index would climb to 94 from the 93.4 reading in July.

The greenback struggled to pare gains against the yen, which is often favoured as a safe haven currency in times of market turmoil, as USD/JPY fell 0.08% to Y109.49.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD lost 0.85% to C$1.2572, despite a weaker-than-expected reading for Canadian inflation for July.

EUR/USD rose by 0.17% to $1.1743 shrugging off a downturn in sentiment, following minutes from the ECB’s July policy meeting showing officials warned that the recent surge in the euro could hamper the central bank’s efforts to get inflation closer to its target of below, but close to, 2%.

GBP/USD fell 0.09% to $1.2858.

Commitments of Traders

S&P 500 net longs are at a 5-month high; Gold net longs are at a 2-month high.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday 15 August so the last three days of trading is not reflected.



Gold prices were roughly unchanged on Friday struggling to take advantage of a slump in the dollar, following continued political uncertainty in Washington as Steve Bannon resigned from his role as White House chief strategist.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $0.91 or 0.07%, to $1,293.28 a troy ounce.

Gold started the session on the front foot hitting a nine-month high of $1,306.14, before pairing losses, as safe-haven demand grew in the wake of ongoing U.S. political uncertainty, after Steve Bannon resigned from his post as White House chief strategist, according to a White House official.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The latest twist in the US political saga follows a week of setbacks for President Trump, after the disbandment of two high-profile business advisory councils over his remarks on violence in Virginia raised doubts over his ability to push through his pro-economic agenda. Maxwell Gold, director of investment strategy at ETF Securities said in emailed comments:

“Trump’s domestic behavior is making investors nervous about how he will handle delicate foreign issues, even though talk of firing nuclear missiles on North Korea has eased."

Other precious metals failed to take advantage of the slump in the dollar, as silver futures fell 0.22% to $17.02 an ounce while platinum futures gained 0.15% to $983.15 an ounce.

Copper traded at $2.93, down 0.14%, while Natural Gas fell 1.09% to $2.897.


Crude futures settled higher on Friday, on the back of unconfirmed reports of a shutdown of one of the largest oil refineries in the U.S., easing investor concerns about the glut in supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery rose 3% to settle at $48.51 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 3.59% to trade at $52.87 a barrel.

Crude oil recovered from session lows, as traders piled into oil futures, after reports surfaced that a unit at Exxon Mobil’s Baytown, Texas refinery has been shut down.

The reports surfaced ahead of an update from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes on Friday, showing its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States last week fell by five rigs to a total of 763.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

The dip in U.S. oil rigs eased investor concerns that rising U.S. production could hamper Opec’s ability to stem the glut in supplies, which has pressured prices for more than three-years.

Total crude-oil production rose to 9.502m barrels per day, an uptick of 79,000 barrels a day compared to last week, the EIA said on Wednesday. That was the highest weekly output figure since mid-July 2015.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures rose on Thursday, reversing earlier losses despite data showed that domestic supplies in storage increased more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.917 per million British thermal units by 10:40AM ET (1440GMT), up 2.3 cents, or around 0.8%. It touched its lowest since August 9 at $2.864 earlier.

Futures were at around $2.880 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. rose by 53 billion cubic feet in the week ended August 11, above forecasts for a build of 47 billion.

That compares with a gain of 28 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a build of 22 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 50 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.082 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 1.8% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday, notching their fourth straight losing session, as near-term weather forecasts turned cooler.

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

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

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