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posted on 01 September 2017

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 01 September 2017

by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.18%

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Oil & Gas, Basic Materials and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.18%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.20%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.10%.


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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which rose 2.40% or 0.59 points to trade at 25.14 at the close. Meanwhile, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) added 1.06% or 1.14 points to end at 108.76 and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) was up 1.04% or 0.55 points to 53.36 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), which fell 1.50% or 1.80 points to trade at 117.92 at the close. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) declined 1.11% or 0.83 points to end at 73.94 and The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) was down 1.06% or 1.28 points to 119.90.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) which rose 5.17% to 26.87, Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG) which was up 4.90% to settle at 8.56 and Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) which gained 4.22% to close at 5.68.

The worst performers were Cooper Companies Inc (NYSE:COO) which was down 5.84% to 236.18 in late trade, Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA) which lost 1.80% to settle at 119.31 and Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) which was down 1.76% to 45.66 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Aptevo Therapeutics Inc(NASDAQ:APVO) which rose 58.65% to 2.110, Neovasc Inc (NASDAQ:NVCN) which was up 44.30% to settle at 1.140 and TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TCON) which gained 26.00% to close at 3.15.

The worst performers were Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA) which was down 22.40% to 42.215 in late trade, Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ:TECD) which lost 20.70% to settle at 87.46 and Cadiz Inc (NASDAQ:CDZI) which was down 20.49% to 9.70 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2166 to 919 and 146 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1598 rose and 860 declined, while 173 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) rose to 52-week highs; up 5.17% or 1.32 to 26.87. Shares in Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 22.40% or 12.185 to 42.215.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 4.44% to 10.12.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.64% or 8.46 to $1330.66 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in October rose 0.21% or 0.10 to hit $47.33 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract fell 0.19% or 0.10 to trade at $52.76 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.39% to 1.1863, while USD/JPY rose 0.26% to 110.27.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.22% at 92.79.

See also:

Read more news from Reuters at Investing.com: Nine years on, another Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Forex

The dollar steadied against a basket of major currencies on Friday, after better-than-expected manufacturing data offset a nonfarm payrolls report that undershot expectations fuelling uncertainty as to whether the Federal Reserve will hike rates late this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.14% to 92.72.

The dollar recovered from a dip to session lows of 92.06, following data showing weakness in the US labor market. Losses in the greenback, however, were short lived as investors cheered bullish manufacturing data.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index in August climbed to 58.8 from 56.3 in July. That is the highest reading since April 2011.

The U.S. economy created 156,000 jobs in August, missing consensus estimates for the creation of 180,000 jobs.

The jobless rate unexpectedly rose in August to 4.4% while average hourly earnings fell short of expectations, slowing to 0.1% from 0.3% in the prior month.

The Federal Reserve closely monitors wage growth for evidence of continuing strength in the labor market and upward pressure on inflation. The retracement in the dollar, however, suggests that investors are not overly concerned that the weak nonfarm payrolls report could deter the Fed from raising rates for a third time later this year.

Some analysts said the weak jobs report was “not weak enough" to change the Fed’s plan to hike rates at least once more this year. According to Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange:

“The headline number was weaker than the consensus, but not weak enough to change the Fed’s stance on rates. Also, August is notorious for statisticians to get it right and numbers are usually revised higher afterward. Investors take it with a grain of salt."

The rebound in the dollar pegged back the euro to session lows while sterling pared some of its recent losses against the greenback to trade higher.

EUR/USD fell 0.42% to $1.1859 while GBP/USD rose 0.20 to $1.2954.

USD/JPY rose 0.28% to Y110.28 while USD/CAD fell 0.83% to C$1.2382.

Commitments of Traders

S&P 500 net longs are at a 1-year high; Gold net longs are at a 11-month high. Bullishness on crude oil declined significantly.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday 29 August so the last three days of trading is not reflected.

cot.2017.aug.29

Gold

Gold prices remained close to nine-and-a-half-month highs on Friday, shrugging off a rebound in the dollar, as a weak nonfarm payrolls report fuelled demand for the precious metal.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $7.64, or 0.58%, to $1,329.25 a troy ounce.

Gold pared some its gains, following its move to a nine-and-half-month high, as market participants downplayed the impact weak job and wage growth in August could have on the Federal Reserve’s plans to hike rates later this year.

The U.S. economy created 156,000 jobs in August, missing consensus estimates for the creation of 180,000 jobs.

The jobless rate unexpectedly rose in August to 4.4% while average hourly earnings fell short of expectations, slowing to 0.1% from 0.3% in the prior month.

Gold is sensitive to moves lower in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar - A lower dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency while a fall in U.S. rates, reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Gold prices have spiked higher in recent weeks as ongoing geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula continued to fuel safe-haven demand.

Net bullish bets on gold rose to 208,004, the highest in nine-months, according to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released last week.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 1.23% to $17.70 an ounce while platinum futures rose 1.11% to $1,009 an ounce.

Copper traded at $3.12, up 0.73% while natural gas futures added 0.69% to $3.06.

Oil

Crude futures settled modestly higher on Friday, but posted a weekly loss, as the shutdown of several refineries in the wake of tropical storm Harvey weighed on refinery activity reducing demand for oil.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery rose 6 cents to settle at $47.29 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent sank 27 cents to trade at $29 a barrel.

Exactly a week after Tropical Storm Harvey crossed the Gulf of Mexico off Port O'Connor, Texas, nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity has been taken offline, representing roughly 4.4 million barrels per day, weighing on demand for crude oil, the primary input at refineries.

More than 45% of the nation’s petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf Coast, as well as 51% of U.S. natural-gas, processing plant capacity, according to the EIA.

The devastating impact of the storm on oil infrastructure in the heartland of the U.S. energy industry, prompted the government to tap its strategic supplies and release 1 million barrels of crude oil to support refinery activity, as fears over fuel shortages remain front and center.

Fears of a fuel shortage come amid a surge in gasoline prices to two-year highs on Thursday, ahead of the Labor Day weekend, which usually sees an uptick in the number of drivers on the road.

Gasoline prices, however, retreated from two-year highs on Friday as two refineries began to restart, narrowing the ‘crack spread’ - the difference between crude oil and gasoline prices - from recent highs.

Falling crude prices have weighed on U.S. drilling activity over recent weeks, as data showed the number of U.S. oil rigs was unchanged from the prior week.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States remained steady at 759, unchanged from a week ago.

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

Market participant are likely to closely monitor the EIA’s report on crude inventories slated for Sept. 7, to assess whether the recent dip in crude demand will halt the nine-week trend of falling crude supplies. John Macaluso, an analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors said:

“Next week’s EIA data should see large draws in products due to refinery outages, prompting large builds in oil inventories. [About 1.4 million barrels of extra oil that] won’t be refined to fuels will be sent to storage as long as refineries are shut-in."

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures were lower on Thursday, holding on to losses despite data showed that domestic supplies in storage increased less than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for October delivery was at $2.929 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (1435GMT), down 1.0 cent, or around 0.3%. Futures were at around $2.935 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 30 billion cubic feet in the week ended August 25, just below forecasts for a build of 32 billion.

That compared with a gain of 43 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a build of 51 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 67 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.155 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, around 7.0% lower than levels at this time a year ago and less than 1.0% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday, as comfortable temperatures were seen continuing over the central and east-central U.S. in the next five days, with highs only in the 70s to lower 80s as weather systems sweep through.

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

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

Meanwhile, market players continued to assess the damage from Harvey on near-term supply and demand prospects.

Massive floods caused by Harvey forced several producers to scale back output along the U.S. Gulf Coast. However, gains were held in check amid expectations that production losses would be more than offset by reductions in demand due to cooler temperatures and power outages.

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