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posted on 21 October 2017 Weekly Wrap-Up 20 October 2017

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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.71%

U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Industrials, Financials and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.71% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index gained 0.51%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.36%.

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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Boeing Co(NYSE:BA), which rose 2.20% or 5.71 points to trade at 264.75 at the close. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) added 2.09% or 4.24 points to end at 207.49 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was up 1.98% or 4.74 points to 244.73 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), which fell 3.65% or 3.34 points to trade at 88.25 at the close. Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) declined 0.45% or 0.21 points to end at 46.38 and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) was down 0.12% or 0.20 points to 166.30.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Under Armour Inc A (NYSE:UAA) which rose 6.26% to 17.48, Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) which was up 6.09% to settle at 94.95 and Under Armour Inc C (NYSE:UA) which gained 5.93% to close at 15.910.

The worst performers were Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) which was down 10.76% to 121.33 in late trade, Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) which lost 3.65% to settle at 88.25 and Church & Dwight Company Inc (NYSE:CHD) which was down 2.33% to 46.18 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Dextera Surgical Inc (NASDAQ:DXTR) which rose 40.06% to 0.1867, Repros Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RPRX) which was up 29.63% to settle at 0.56 and Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) which gained 27.11% to close at 19.27.

The worst performers were Durect Corporation (NASDAQ:DRRX) which was down 60.53% to 0.778 in late trade, Concordia International Corp (NASDAQ:CXRX) which lost 38.71% to settle at 0.57 and Rennova Health Inc (NASDAQ:RNVA) which was down 20.39% to 0.781 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1804 to 1287 and 129 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1534 rose and 974 declined, while 143 ended unchanged.

Shares in Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) rose to all time highs; rising 2.20% or 5.71 to 264.75. Shares in UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) rose to all time highs; up 2.09% or 4.24 to 207.49. Shares in McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) fell to all time highs; down 0.12% or 0.20 to 166.30. Shares in Durect Corporation (NASDAQ:DRRX) fell to 52-week lows; down 60.53% or 1.192 to 0.778. Shares in Concordia International Corp (NASDAQ:CXRX) fell to all time lows; down 38.71% or 0.36 to 0.57. Shares in Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) rose to 52-week highs; up 27.11% or 4.11 to 19.27. Shares in Rennova Health Inc (NASDAQ:RNVA) fell to 5-year lows; losing 20.39% or 0.200 to 0.781.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.70% to 9.98.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.50% or 6.41 to $1283.59 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.80% or 0.41 to hit $51.70 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 1.08% or 0.62 to trade at $57.85 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.63% to 1.1777, while USD/JPY rose 0.83% to 113.47.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

See also:

Read more news from Reuters at Wall Street hits record highs; tax plan hopes fuel optimism.


The dollar rose sharply against a basket of major currencies on Friday as signs of progress on tax reform bolstered investor expectations of a fiscal lift to the economy while upbeat housing data boosted sentiment.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.57% to 93.54.

The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales rose 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units last month.

That beat economists forecast of a 1% decline to a rate of 5.30 million.

The upbeat housing data comes amid growing expectation that tax reform will be passed sooner-rather-than later after the Senate approved the Republican-back budget on Thursday.

The budget approval is a crucial step forward for tax reform as it will allow Republicans to move ahead with tax cuts without support from Democrats.

On the monetary policy front, however, investors mulled over reports suggesting that Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell is leading the race to succeed Janet Yellen as next Fed Chairman.

President Donald Trump is expected to make a final decision by Nov. 3, choosing between current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh or Stanford University economist John Taylor.

Powell is widely viewed as the least hawkish candidate - apart from Janet Yellen - compared to his peers on the shortlist to head the Federal Reserve in February.

Elsewhere a slump in the Canadian dollar added to upside momentum in the greenback after Canada released subdued inflation data and retail sales data growth missed expectations.

USD/CAD rose 1.03% to C$1.2615.

EUR/USD fell 0.64% while EUR/GBP fell 0.62% as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank policy meeting slated for next week.

GBP/USD rose 0.24% to $1.3190 as both UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Council president Donald Tusk attempted to downplay claims that Brexit negotiations had reached an impasse.

USD/JPY added 0.77% to Y113.41.

Commitments of Traders

Speculators were less bullish on the euro and the Australian dollar; There was more bullishness on the S&P 500 and precious metals.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday 17 October so the last three days of trading is not reflected.



Gold prices fell on Friday amid a sharp rise in the dollar on growing expectations of tax reform after the Senate approved the Republican-backed budget.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $7.64, or 0.60%, to $1,282.28 a troy ounce.

Gold prices struggled to pare losses as sentiment on the dollar turned positive on signs of tax reform bolstered investor expectations of a fiscal lift to the economy amid housing data that topped forecasts.

The Senate approved the Republican-back budget on Thursday, a crucial step forward for tax reform, allowing Republicans to move ahead with tax cuts without support from Democrats.

Tax reform is widely expected to have an inflationary impact on the economy boosted the greenback, lowering demand for dollar denominated commodities such as gold.

Also weighing on gold prices were signs of improvement in economy the after existing home sales rose 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units last month, The National Association of Realtors said on Friday.

Some analysts warned gold prices could come under increased pressure as the precious metal is likely to test key support levels. Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said:

"We seem to once again be ready to test technical support around $1,275-$1,270. If we look at the chart, it's a classic head and shoulders pattern here and the danger is we'll break lower to a level at $1,250 or even below."

In other metals trading, silver futures fell 1.14% to $17.06 while platinum futures added 0.02% to $926.

Natural gas rose by 1.67% to $2.92, while Copper traded at $3.17, down 0.02%.


Crude oil prices settled higher on Friday as political tensions in the Kurdistan region continued to disrupt crude supplies offsetting signs of wavering U.S. demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 18 cents to settle at $51.47 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 33 cents to trade at $57.56 a barrel.

In what was a volatile session, crude oil prices struggled for direction as investors weighed the impact of falling domestic demand against supply disruptions in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Oil exports from Iraq's Kurdistan towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan were flowing at average rates on Friday of 216,000 barrels per day versus the usual flows of 600,000 bpd, according to a report from Reuters citing a shipping source.

The supply disruption in Iraq comes amid ongoing political uncertainty in the region following conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Iraqi troops marched toward Northern Iraq earlier this week and regained control of two major oilfields from Kurdish forces.

In the U.S., meanwhile, investors mulled over data showing oil drilling activity declines continued to decline as the number of oil rigs slumped for the third-straight week.

U.S., oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States fell by 7 to 736.

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, despite data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose less 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 51 billion cubic feet in the week ended October 13, while analysts had forecast an increase of 55 billion.

After the release and despite the bullish reading, natural gas for delivery in November on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 2.1 cents, or about 0.74%, to trade at $2.833 per million British thermal units by 10:32AM ET (14:32GMT).

Futures had been dropping by just 0.1 cents, or around 0.04%, at $2.853 prior to the release of the supply data.

That compared with a build of 87 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 179 billion from a year earlier and was 35 bcf below the five-year average.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.646 trillion cubic feet, 4.7% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 1.0% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Gas futures often reach a seasonal low in October, when mild weather weakens demand, before recovering in the winter, when heating-fuel use peaks.

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