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posted on 26 January 2018

Investing.com Weekly Wrap Up 26January 2018

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.21%

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

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.85% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index added 1.18%, and the NASDAQ Composite index gained 1.28%.


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The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which rose 10.55% or 4.78 points to trade at 50.08 at the close. Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) added 4.78% or 1.78 points to end at 39.01 and 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) was up 2.48% or 6.27 points to 258.63 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), which fell 1.36% or 2.31 points to trade at 167.06 at the close. Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) declined 0.69% or 0.61 points to end at 87.73 and Goldman Sachs GroupInc (NYSE:GS) was down 0.33% or 0.89 points to 268.14.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) which rose 13.77% to 123.210, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) which was up 10.55% to settle at 50.08 and Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) which gained 7.37% to close at 70.49.

The worst performers were Wynn Resorts Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) which was down 10.12% to 180.29 in late trade, Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) which lost 4.85% to settle at 73.56 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) which was down 4.46% to 374.36 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Oasmia Pharmaceutical AB(NASDAQ:OASM) which rose 40.00% to 1.750, Biostar Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BSPM) which was up 34.41% to settle at 3.3200 and Atossa Genetics Inc(NASDAQ:ATOS) which gained 29.19% to close at 0.4200.

The worst performers were Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) which was down 27.22% to 0.353 in late trade, MannKind Corp (NASDAQ:MNKD) which lost 26.58% to settle at 2.790 and Wecast Network Inc (NASDAQ:SSC) which was down 15.01% to 3.510 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1725 to 1386 and 109 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1478 rose and 1037 declined, while 147 ended unchanged.

Shares in AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) rose to all time highs; rising 13.77% or 14.910 to 123.210. Shares in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) rose to 5-year highs; rising 10.55% or 4.78 to 50.08. Shares in Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) rose to all time highs; gaining 7.37% or 4.84 to 70.49. Shares in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 10.55% or 4.78 to 50.08. Shares in Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) rose to 5-year highs; up 4.78% or 1.78 to 39.01. Shares in 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) rose to all time highs; up 2.48% or 6.27 to 258.63. Shares in Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) fell to all time lows; down 27.22% or 0.132 to 0.353. Shares in Biostar Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BSPM) rose to 52-week highs; up 34.41% or 0.8500 to 3.3200.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 4.06% to 11.11.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.96% or 13.10 to $1349.80 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March rose 1.08% or 0.71 to hit $66.22 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.13% or 0.09 to trade at $70.51 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.22% to 1.2424, while USD/JPY fell 0.66% to 108.69.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.31% at 88.91.

See also:

Forex

The dollar pared some of its losses against a basket of major currencies to move off session lows but remained under pressure as the US economy slowed more than expected in the final quarter of 2017.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.48% to 88.76.

Gross domestic product increased at a 2.6% annual rate in the October-December period, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was below economists’ forecast for 3% growth.

The Commerce Department in a separate report said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 0.3% in December after an upwardly revised 0.2% increase in November.

Also weighing on the dollar was sharp move higher in the yen after Bank of Japan governor Kuroda said that inflation was nearing the central bank’s 2%, renewing expectations that the Bank of Japan may soon start to unwind its loose monetary policy measures.

Kuroda reiterated, however, that the Bank of Japan would continue to support economy with monetary easing but that did little to hamper the yen as USD/JPY fell 0.94% to Y108.38.

Sterling also added to dollar pressure after the UK economy unexpectedly expanded faster than expected. GBP/USD rose 0.42% to £1.4198.

EUR/USD rose 0.34% to $1.2439, adding to this week’s gains after ECB president Mario Draghi attempts failed to curb growing investor expectations that the central bank is nearing a shift toward a more hawkish stance on monetary policy.

USD/CAD fell 0.58% to C$1.2305 as the ongoing rally in the oil prices support a rise in the loonie.

Commitments of Traders

Crude oil and euro net longs are at all-time highs; Speculators are more bullish on the S&P 500.

Note: The data is for the week ending on Tuesday 23 January so the last three days of trading are not reflected.

cot.2018.jan.23

Gold

Gold prices eased from 17-month highs after the dollar moved off session lows as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attempted to resolve uncertainty surrounding his comments earlier this week on dollar.

Gold futures for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $13.30, or 0.98%, to $1,349.60 a troy ounce.

A day after President Donald Trump had said that dollar "will get stronger and stronger," Mnuchin told Yahoo Finance:

“Well, I think you know, people have misinterpreted some of my comments about the dollar this week. I was very clear I’m not making comments about where the dollar is in the short term. I’m not going to make comments about where the stock market would be. But I respect what the president said."

The dollar remained on track to post weekly loess, however, amid data showing durable goods and US economic growth undershot economists’ forecasts.

Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar - a rise in the dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency and thus, reduces demand.

Weaker economic data, meanwhile, did little to support safe-haven demand as the US economy cooled in the fourth quarter of the year, while durable goods fell short of economists' estimates.

Gross domestic product increased at a 2.6% annual rate in the October-December period, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was below economists’ forecast for 3% growth.

The Commerce Department in a separate report said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 0.3% in December after an upwardly revised 0.2% increase in November.

Yet despite the fourth quarter GDP miss, RBC said the data showed exports and imports were rose significantly on the quarter, rising 6.9% and 13.9%, respectively, and noting that strong import growth is a sign of a strong domestic environment.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 1.31% to $17.57 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 1.46% to $1,017.

Copper fell 0.58% to $3.198, while natural gas rose 2.52% to $3.53.

Oil

Crude oil prices settle higher as signs of rising US production were offset by ongoing dollar weakness.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for March delivery rose 63 cents to settle at $66.14 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brentgained 0.07% to trade at $70.47 a barrel.

The number of oil rigs operating in the US jumped by 12 to 759, the highest level since Sept. 1, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes, which tracked the seven-day period ending Jan. 26.

That added little to existing fears of rising US output as crude prices settled at their highest since December 2014, supported by ongoing dollar weakness and optimism that both oil demand growth and major oil producers’ output curbs - as part of OPEC-led output-cut deal - would continue to rid the market of excess supplies.

Dollar-denominated assets such as oil are sensitive to moves in the dollar - a decline in the dollar tend to make oil cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, raises demand.

US crude output is nearing an unprecedented 10 million barrels per day after the Energy Information Energy Reported Wednesday domestic crude production rose to nearly 9.9 million barrels a day last week. That level is close to an all-time high of 10.04 million barrels per day (bpd) reached in 1970, bringing the US closer to world\'s top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Natural Gas (Wednesday Report)

Natural gas futures continued higher for the third day in a row on Wednesday, reaching their strongest level in more than a year, boosted by forecasts that call for frigid temperatures again in parts of the U.S. during early February.

Front-month U.S. natural gas futures surged 13.5 cents, or around 3.9%, to $3.579 per million British thermal units (btu) by 8:40AM ET (1340GMT). It rose to a 13-month high of $3.628 in the prior session.

The commodity rallied 6.8% on Tuesday to its highest level since Dec. 30, 2016, as forecasts for frigid temperatures across the U.S. east coast during early February boosted demand expectations.

Mild conditions will dominate the southern and eastern U.S. through Feb. 3rd, then become much colder as frigid Arctic air pours into the region, according to updated weather models.

Temperatures throughout the central U.S. and Midwest will also fall to below seasonal levels through Feb. 6 as Arctic blasts sweep through.

Natural gas prices typically rise during the winter months as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand. The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.

Market participants looked ahead to this week's storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 260 and 275 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Jan. 19.

That compares with a decline of 183 bcf in the preceding week, a fall of 119 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 164 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.584 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 368 bcf, or around 12.5%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 362 bcf, or roughly 12.3%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

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