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posted on 02 December 2017 Weekly Wrap-Up 01December 2017

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.17%

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Basic Materials and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.17%, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.20%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.38%.

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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), which rose 1.09% or 0.60 points to trade at 55.87 at the close. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) added 0.80% or 0.30 points to end at 37.60 and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) was up 0.71% or 0.36 points to 51.25 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which fell 2.24% or 0.41 points to trade at 17.88 at the close. Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) declined 1.96% or 5.42 points to end at 271.38 and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was down 1.65% or 1.86 points to 110.73.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) which rose 5.71% to 44.22, Mylan Inc (NASDAQ:MYL) which was up 4.35% to settle at 38.12 andHewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) which gained 3.48% to close at 14.44.

The worst performers were Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:MAT) which was down 5.42% to 17.26 in late trade, Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) which lost 4.12% to settle at 212.58 and Envision Healthcare Corp (NYSE:EVHC) which was down 3.73% to 30.74 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Pyxis Tankers Inc (NASDAQ:PXS) which rose 103.98% to 4.1000, Ohr Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:OHRP) which was up 50.59% to settle at 1.280 and American Woodmark Corporation (NASDAQ:AMWD) which gained 28.21% to close at 127.70.

The worst performers were Eagle Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EGBN) which was down 24.49% to 49.95 in late trade, KBS Fashion Group Ltd (NASDAQ:KBSF) which lost 15.96% to settle at 4.3700 and ReTo Eco-Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:RETO) which was down 15.25% to 8.560 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1568 to 1526 and 129 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1517 fell and 1020 advanced, while 116 ended unchanged.

Shares in Pyxis Tankers Inc (NASDAQ:PXS) rose to all time highs; up 103.98% or 2.0900 to 4.1000. Shares in Eagle Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EGBN) fell to 52-week lows; down 24.49% or 16.20 to 49.95. Shares in American Woodmark Corporation (NASDAQ:AMWD) rose to all time highs; gaining 28.21% or 28.10 to 127.70. Shares in ReTo Eco-Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:RETO) fell to all time lows; losing 15.25% or 1.540 to 8.560.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.09% to 11.27.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.54% or 6.90 to $1280.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 1.64% or 0.94 to hit $58.34 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 1.68% or 1.05 to trade at $63.68 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.03% to 1.1900, while USD/JPY fell 0.36% to 112.12.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.16% at 92.82.

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The dollar pared gains against a basket of currencies on Friday amid reports that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was “prepared to testify" against President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into Russia’s involved in the presidential election.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.20% at 92.78.

Flynn is prepared to testify that President Donald Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate, ABC News reported.

Earlier Friday, Flynn admitted lying to the FBI over his links to Russia and agreed to share information about a “very senior" official as part of a plea deal.

The dollar turned negative on the reports amid a surge in demand for safe-haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc.

USD/JPY fell 0.52% to Y111.95, while the USD/CHF fell 0.87% to 0.9750

The risk-off trade offset mixed economic data showing constructing spending rose, while manufacturing undershot expectations.

ISM manufacturing PMI for November cooled to 58.2 from 58.7 in October, missing expectations of a reading of 58.4, while construction spending for October rose 1.4%, well above economists’ forecast of 0.5%.

The economic data came as market participants awaited the final vote on the Senate Republican tax bill due Friday as Republican leaders scrambled to make last-ditch changes to their bill following concerns over funding for the bill.

Sterling, meanwhile, gave up some its recent gains against the greenback falling to $1.3501.

EUR/USD added 0.03% to $1.1906, while EUR/GBP rose 0.31% to £0.8821 amid upbeat Eurozone manufacturing PMIs.

USD/CAD fell 1.39% following Canadian GDP data that topped forecasts.

Commitments of Traders

This week Crude oil net longs reached an all-time high, while Japanese yen net shorts were at 4-year high.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday 14 November so the last three days of trading is not reflected.



Gold prices pared some of their gains as growing optimism on tax reform offset earlier reports that Michael Flynn was “prepared to testify" against President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into Russia’s involved in the presidential election.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $6.70, or 0.34%, to $1277.54 a troy ounce.

Flynn is prepared to testify that President Donald Trump directed him to make contact with Russians when he was a presidential candidate, ABC News reported.

That sparked a flight to safety, pressuring treasury yields, while supported an uptick in demand for safe haven gold, which rose as much as 1% before pairing gains on signs that tax reform was gathering momentum.

Senator Mitch McConnel, said on Friday morning that Republicans had the 50 votes they need to pass the tax bill.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar - A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Also weighing on gold were a pair of mixed economic reports on inflation, and construction spending.

ISM manufacturing PMI for November cooled to 58.2 from 58.7 in October, missing expectations of a reading of 58.4, while construction spending for October rose 1.4%, well above economists’ forecast of 0.5%.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.30% to $16.30 a troy ounce, while platinum futures lost 0.07% to $941.80.

Copper traded at $3.10, up 1.04%, while natural gas rose by 1.09% to $3.06

Natural gas rebounded from negative-related news on Thursday showing domestic supplies in storage fell less than forecast last week.


Crude oil prices settled higher on Friday as traders continued to cheer the decision from major oil producers to extend cuts in oil output by nine months through 2018 to rid the market of excess supplies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for January delivery rose 1.7% to settle at $58.36 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 1.68% to trade at $63.68 a barrel.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers who met on Thursday in Vienna, Austria, said they would continue to cut supply by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of 2018, raising expectations for a continued drawdown of inventories as rebalancing in markets gets underway.

The production-agreement has rein in excess supplies, but further cuts are needed as Khalid Al-Falih said a draw of about 150 million barrels were required to bring global crude inventories back to the five-year average.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Commodity Research said that it expects the duration of the OPEC extension would help to reduce the risk of a sharp increase in production but noted that the cuts would not target high prices amid fears over a ramp up in US shale output.

"We take away from these [OPEC] comments a strong commitment to normalizing inventories and also to remain data dependent, which reduces the risk of both unexpected supply surprises and excess stock draws," Goldman said.

In the U.S., investors mulled over a report from Baker Hughes showing the number of oil rigs operating in the US rose by 2 to 749, further adding to fears that increased output from US producers would dampened OPEC efforts to rein in excess supplies.

The uptick in rig counts come as data this week showed U.S. domestic output rose 15% to 9.66 million barrels per day (bpd).

Natural Gas (Thursday report)

Natural gas futures tumbled on Thursday, extending losses after data showed that domestic supplies in storage fell less than forecast last week.

U.S. natural gas futures sank 10.8 cents, or around 3.4%, to $3.071 per million British thermal units by 10:45AM ET (1545GMT). Futures were at around $3.078 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. fell by 33 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Nov. 24, compared to forecasts for a withdrawal of 37 bcf.

That compared with a drop of 46 bcf in the preceding week, a fall of 50 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average decline of 47 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.693 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 309 bcf, or around 7.7%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 107 bcf, or roughly 2.8%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

Analysts estimated the amount of gas in storage would end the April-October injection season at 3.8 tcf due primarily to higher liquefied natural gas shipments abroad. That would fall short of the year-earlier record of 4.0 tcf and the five-year average of 3.9 tcf.

Natural gas prices rallied for the third-straight session on Wednesday, reaching their best level since Nov. 13 at $3.218, as bullish speculators placed bets that a return to cold winter weather will boost demand for the heating fuel.

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

Prices of the fuel typically rise ahead of the winter as colder weather sparks heating demand.

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

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