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posted on 23 September 2017

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 22 September 2017

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.04%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.04%, while the S&P 500 index gained 0.06%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 0.07%


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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO), which rose 2.05% or 0.67 points to trade at 33.37 at the close. Meanwhile, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) added 1.96% or 0.96 points to end at 49.90 and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was up 0.70% or 0.82 points to 117.29 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which fell 1.12% or 2.18 points to trade at 193.03 at the close. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined 0.98% or 1.50 points to end at 151.89 and Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was down 0.72% or 0.47 points to 65.13.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were CarMax Inc (NYSE:KMX) which rose 7.77% to 74.19, L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) which was up 7.51% to settle at 39.65 and Equifax Inc(NYSE:EFX) which gained 6.91% to close at 105.04.

The worst performers were DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc (NYSE:DVA) which was down 6.15% to 57.49 in late trade, Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) which lost 3.65% to settle at 110.85 and Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG) which was down 3.43% to 55.22 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Ocean Rig UDW Inc(NASDAQ:ORIG) which rose 1000.00% to 24.0000, Izea Inc (NASDAQ:IZEA) which was up 61.62% to settle at 3.2000 and Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MDGL) which gained 53.07% to close at 34.1800.

The worst performers were Versartis Inc (NASDAQ:VSAR) which was down 87.62% to 2.67 in late trade, FalconStor Software Inc (NASDAQ:FALC) which lost 23.33% to settle at 0.345 and Arts-Way Manufacturing Co Inc (NASDAQ:ARTW) which was down 18.52% to 2.200 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1985 to 1104 and 133 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1649 rose and 835 declined, while 143 ended unchanged.

Shares in CarMax Inc (NYSE:KMX) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 7.77% or 5.35 to 74.19. Shares in Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.43% or 1.96 to 55.22. Shares in Ocean Rig UDW Inc (NASDAQ:ORIG) rose to all time highs; up 1000.00% or 23.9250 to 24.0000. Shares in Versartis Inc (NASDAQ:VSAR) fell to all time lows; losing 87.62% or 18.92 to 2.67. Shares in Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MDGL) rose to 52-week highs; up 53.07% or 11.8500 to 34.1800.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.34% to 9.54.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.44% or 5.75 to $1300.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.22% or 0.11 to hit $50.66 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 0.62% or 0.35 to trade at $56.78 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.03% to 1.1946, while USD/JPY fell 0.36% to 112.07.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.02% at 91.95.

See also:

Read more news from Reuters at Investing.com: Shorting volatility: Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers.

Forex

The dollar remained roughly unchanged against a basket of major currencies on Friday amid an uptick in safe-haven demand as U.S.-North Korea tensions resurfaced but sterling weakness curbed downside momentum in the greenback.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.01% to 91.98.

North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean as the ongoing war of words between President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong un continued after latter vowed to make a "mentally deranged" Trump pay dearly for an earlier threat to “totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened America or its allies.

In the wake of Kim Jong un’s comments, traditional safe-haven currencies like the yen and Swiss franc made strong gains the greenback.

USD/JPY fell to Y112.09, down 0.34% while USD/CHF fell to 0.9697 down 0.11%.

Losses in the greenback, however, were curbed by a slump in sterling following an update from British Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit negotiations on Friday. In her speech, Mrs May proposed that Britain stay in the EU’s single market for a two-year “period of implementation" to smooth the Brexit process.

GBP/USD fell 0.43% to $1.3523.

EUR/USD tacked on 0.04% to $1.1946 while EUR/GBP gained 0.48% to £0.8834 as traders look ahead to Sunday’s German elections in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is widely expected to secure a fourth term.

Commitments of Traders

Speculators were significantly less bearish on the pound sterling. Bullishness declined for the euro, S&P 500, and gold

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday19 September so the last three days of trading is not reflected.

cot.2017.sep.19

Gold

Gold prices rose on Friday amid an uptick in safe-haven demand as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to make a "mentally deranged" Trump pay dearly for an earlier threat to “totally destroy" North Korea if threatened.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $5.95, or 0.46%, to $1,300.75 a troy ounce.

U.S. - North Korea relations further strained on Friday, fueling demand for safe-haven gold after North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

The prospect of North Korea carrying out yet another act of provocation comes amid Kim Jong Un’s brazen pledge to make a "mentally deranged" Trump pay dearly for an earlier threat to “totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened America or its allies.

The uptick in safe-haven demand, however, is unlikely to rescue the pressure metal from a second-straight weekly loss, following a surge in expectations for a year-end Federal Reserve rate hike.

The Federal Reserve indicated that its members’ rate-hike outlook saw rates rising to between 1.25% and 1.5% by the end of the 2017. With rates steady at 1-1.25%, that points to one further rate hike this year.

According to investing.com’s fed rate monitor tool more than 70% of traders expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates in December.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures gained 0.12% to $17.04 a troy ounce while platinum futures lost 0.62% to $934.10.

Copper traded at $2.94, up 0.29% while natural gas rose by 0.31% to $2.96.

Oil

Crude oil prices settled higher on Friday as investors shrugged off the outcome of an Opec-led meeting in which oil producers failed to reach a decision to extend the production-cut agreement.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 11 cents to settle at $50.66 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 27 cents to trade at $56.70 a barrel.

As was widely expected, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and other major producers failed to reach a decision to extend output cuts beyond March 2018.

Russia’s energy minister suggested that January is the earliest date that an extension to the global accord can be considered, as it allows ample time to assess the state of the market.

"I believe that January is the earliest date when we can actually, credibly speak about the state of the market," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Other ministers suggested a decision could come this year.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.

The committee issued a bullish outlook on compliance, however, highlighting that oil producing nations participating in the global accord to cut output reached record monthly compliance. Opec and non-opec compliance with the deal to curb output rose to 116% in August, the committee said, a strong increase from the 94% compliance achieved a month ago.

In the U.S., market participants mulled over data showing the number of U.S. oil rigs continued to decline suggesting a possible tightening in domestic production.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States declined by 5 to 744.

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

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

U.S. natural gas futures initially extended losses in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 97 billion cubic feet in the week ended September 15, while analysts had forecast an increase of just 91 billion.

Natural gas for delivery in October on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 10.9 cents, or about 3.5%, to trade at $2.985 per million British thermal units by 10:32AM ET (14:32GMT).

Futures had been falling 6.6 cents, or around 2.1%, at $3.029 prior to the release of the supply data.

That compared with a build of 91 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 136 billion from a year earlier but was 67 bcf above the five-year average.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.3408 trillion cubic feet, 3.8% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 2.0% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas prices look set to remain on the back foot in the weeks ahead as traders react to the reality that higher summer demand for the commodity is coming to an end.

Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.

But with autumn due to start on September 22, power burns to feed air conditioning demand have probably peaked for now, market analysts said.

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