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Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending January 3, 2020)

Though finishing slightly lower than its all time high reached on Friday the previous week, the S&P 500 Index ended the year up just shy of 29% while the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate closed at 1.92%, down approximately 80bps from its level at the end of 2018. The U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) finished the year almost unchanged. Last week opened with reports of U.S. attacks on pro-Iranian military bases in Syria and Iraq and closed with news of a U.S. airstrike killing IRGC general Qassam Soleimani. Stock and bond markets barely reacted to the former news with markets experiencing very light trading activity Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday, the first trading day of the new year, the S&P 500 moved higher by almost 1% and U.S. 10-year Treasury rates fell about 4bps after the PBOC said it would further loosen monetary policy to support the Chinese economy. However, overnight news leading into Friday of the killing of Soleimani and weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing index number the S&P 500 Index reversed almost all of Thursday’s gain and pushed the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate a few basis points lower. At week’s end, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.2% at 3234.85, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rates was down 9bps to 1.79% and the U.S. dollar was almost unchanged.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending December 27, 2019)

Quiet holiday-shortened week with the S&P 500 Index struggling but eking out new highs, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates slightly declining and the U.S. dollar weakening. Weaker-than-expected durable goods orders and new home sales reported on Monday (the only significant economic data released last week) may have set the tone for the remainder of the week. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 0.6% to 3240.02, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate fell 4 bps to 1.88% and the U.S. dollar weakened 0.8%.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending December 20, 2019)

Stronger-than-expected Chinese factory production and consumer spending numbers combined with support from last week’s announcement of a U.S.-China phase one trade agreement and congress passing the USMCA pushed the S&P 500 Index to another record high and moved 10-year U.S. Treasury interest rates 5bps higher to 1.88% through Tuesday. Stronger-than-expected U.S. economic reports, including strong factory production and new housing starts, pushed 10-year U.S. interest rates 3bps higher to 1.92% and kept the S&P 500 Index at near record levels through Wednesday. Stronger-than-expected new homes sales on Thursday and consumer spending reports on Friday along with Trump administration statements the U.S.-China phase one trade agreement would be signed next month, pushed the S&P 500 index to new highs with 10-year U.S. Treasury rates remaining at 1.92%. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 1.7% to 3,221.22, 10-year U.S. interest rates fell 10bp to 1.92% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) strengthened 0.5%.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending December 13, 2019)

Approaching U.S trade tariff deadlines, continued uncertainty of a phase one U.S.-China trade agreement, CPI and PPI reports, the FOMC meeting and UK elections all added to a jittery start of the week. 10-year U.S. Treasury rates, unchanged at 1.84% through Tuesday after an as-expected CPI report, fell 5bps on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve bank said it would maintain the current Fed funds target rate unless there was a significant outlook change. President Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he had signed off on the trade agreement caused 10-year U.S. Treasury rates to reverse course and increase 10bps to 1.89% only to reverse course again on Friday after China confirmed there was an agreement and after a benign retail sales report pushing 10-year Treasury rates down 7bps to 1.82%. The S&P 500 index moved lower early in the week, also affected by the uncertainty surrounding the FOMC meeting and the prospects of a U.S.-China trade deal. Down 0.4% through Tuesday, the S&P 500 Index increased 1.2% the remainder of the week after the announcement of a trade agreement and a “steady-as-she-goes” policy annunciated by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. At week’s end the S&P 500 Index increased 0.7% to 3168.8, 10-year U.S. interest rates fell 1bp to 1.82% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) weakened 0.5%.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending December 6, 2019)

U.S. stock markets moved lower Monday and Tuesday last week following statements from President Trump threatening steel tariffs on Brazil and Argentinia, promising repercussions to France’s digital tax and allowing for the possibility of U.S-China trade negotiations dragging on through 2020. Conversely, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates moved higher on Monday after better-than-expected manufacturing data from China, then moved sharply lower on Tuesday following President Trump’s comments regarding U.S.-China trade negotiations and weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data. Reports on Wednesday that a U.S.-China trade agreement was very close, all but erasing concerns raised Tuesday, and stronger-than-expected non-manufacturing data moved 10-year U.S. Treasury rates and U.S. stock markets higher. Lower-than-expected initial jobless claims on Thursday and a much-stronger-than expected employment situation report on Friday pushed U.S. stock markets and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields higher through the remainder of the week. At week’s end the S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 3145.91, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates increased 6bp to close at 1.84% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY index) weakened 0.6%.

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending November 29, 2019)

Supported by indications of progress on a U.S.-China trade agreement and strong U.S. economic reports (including new home sales and 2nd estimate Q3 GDP), the S&P 500 Index moved 1.4% higher through Wednesday to close at 3153.63, another all-time high. President Trump’s signing of legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters along with falling energy prices pushed U.S. stock markets slightly lower with the S&P 500 Index slipping 0.4%. At week’s end the S&P 500 was up 1% to 3140.98, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates gained 1bp to 1.78% and the U.S. dollar was unchanged (as measured by the DXY index).

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending November 22, 2019)

Comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for increased communications between the U.S. and China, positive comments from President Trump regarding U.S.-China trade frictions and stronger-than-expected economic reports on Friday moved U.S. stock markets, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates and the U.S. dollar off their lows of the week. At week’s end the S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 3110.29, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates fell 6bps to 1.77% and the U.S. dollar strengthened (all on Friday) 0.3% (as measured by the DXY index). ).

Commentary,

Commodities and Precious Metals Update (Week ending November 15, 2019)

Renewed optimism over a U.S.-China trade agreement spurred by Trump administration comments and stronger-expected retail sales on Friday, pushed the S&P 500 Index almost a percent higher and moved 10-year U.S. Treasury rates a couple of basis points off their lows of the week. At week’s end the S&P 500 increased 0.9% to 3120.46, 10-year U.S. Treasury rates fell 11bps to 1.83% and the U.S. dollar weakened 0.4% (as measured by the DXY index).