Recap for March 30

  • With a backdrop of global oil demand set to drop by 12 million barrels a day in the April-June period (the steepest decline on record), US crude oil prices closed lower again Monday. Prices fell to an 18-year low as cities and municipalities extended stay-at-home guidance and mandates meant to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, which have sharply diminished demand for oil and gas. Further pressure came from the prospect of elevated production levels from Saudi Arabia and Russia, which could extend the downturn in fuel markets. The April future was down $1.42 to close at $20.09 a barrel.
  • Stocks advanced Monday, a day after President Trump extended social-distancing guidelines through April, a shift from previous hopes for an Easter-adjacent rollback. The Dow industrials and S&P500 indexes have rallied more than 15% since striking an apparent floor a week ago. Both remain down more than 20% from their February records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 690.70 points, or 3.19%, to close at 22,327.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 85.18 points, or 3.35%, to close at 2,626.65. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 271.77 points, or 3.62%, to close at 7,774.15 points.
  • Wheat futures were mixed Monday; winter wheat mostly advanced, spring wheat mostly declined. Weekly export inspection data indicated wheat and soybean exports were near the low end of analysts’ expectations, and grain traders sought to position themselves ahead of Tuesday’s release of fresh planting and grain stocks data from the USDA. Corn was lower under pressure from reduced demand from ethanol manufacturers as travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus cut into demand for the biofuel. Soybean futures were mixed but edged higher on the front end with support from strong soymeal demand prospects and the possibility of logistical hang-ups in South American supply. May corn fell 4¾¢ to close at $3.41¼ a bu. Chicago May wheat fell 1¾¢ to close at $5.69½ a bu, though all subsequent months were higher by 1¢ to 12½¢ a bu. Kansas City May wheat was steady at $4.86¾ a bu; later months were 1¼¢ to 3½¢ higher. Minneapolis May wheat declined 2¼¢ to close at $5.34¾ a bu; later months were unchanged to lower. May soybeans added ¾¢ to close at $8.82¼ a bu, though later months were mixed and mostly lower for a second straight session. May soybean meal added $2.40 to close at $325.50 a ton; forward contracts were mixed and mostly lower. May soybean oil edged up 0.02¢ to close at 26.87¢ a lb; later months were mixed in a narrow range.
  • US gold futures followed their largest one-week percentage gain since September 2008 with a second-straight daily decline Monday. The April future was down $3 to close at $1,622 an oz.
  • The US dollar broke a five-day losing streak with an advance on Monday.

Recap for March 27

  • US stocks followed a three-day rally by pulling back Friday to end the week, but major indexes closed higher for the week after legislators agreed to and passed a $2 trillion stimulus package and the Federal Reserve unveiled wide-ranging plans to boost the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 915.39 points, or 4.06%, to close at 21,636.78, but posted its biggest weekly gain since 1938. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 88.60 points, or 3.37%, to close at 2,541.47. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 295.16 points, or 3.79%, to close at 7,502.38 points.
  • Wheat futures were mixed Friday, with some contracts rising on ideas of potential supply issues during the COVID-19 pandemic leading to increased export demand for US wheat after Russia proposed a grain export quota in a bid to protect domestic supply. Gains were limited and some contracts eased on pre-weekend profit-taking and concerns a rally would lessen the attraction of US supplies. Nearby soybean futures edged higher. Corn futures bucked a three-day rebound to close lower on position squaring ahead of the weekend and USDA planting intentions and grain stocks data due March 31. May corn fell 2¾¢ to close at $3.46 a bu. Chicago May wheat advanced 2¼¢ to close at $5.71¼ a bu. Kansas City May wheat eased ½¢ to close at $4.86¾ a bu; later months were mixed in a narrow range. Minneapolis May wheat advanced 5¾¢ to close at $5.37 a bu. May soybeans added 1¼¢ to close at $8.81½ a bu, though later months were mixed and mostly lower. May soybean meal added 20¢ to close at $323.10 a ton, though all forward contracts were lower. May soybean oil jumped 0.35¢ to close at 26.85¢ a lb.
  • US gold futures retreated Friday but posted their largest one-week percentage gain since September 2008. The April future was down $26.20 to close at $1,625 an oz.
  • US crude oil prices eased again Friday after the US Department of Energy suspended the purchase of 30 million barrels of crude oil intended for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The April future was down $1.09 to close at $21.51 a barrel.
  • The US dollar declined Friday for the fifth consecutive session.

Recap for March 26

  • US stocks soared Thursday as the US government stepped closer to approval of a $2 trillion stimulus package to avert the worst of the economic upheaval brought about by COVID-19. The DJIA closed 20% off its low, initiating a new bull market after an 11-day bear. Analysts said the rapid descent into a bear market and subsequent restart of a bull market highlights the volatility of US stocks as the coronavirus pandemic rolls through the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped 1,351.62 points, or 6.38%, to close at 22,552.17. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 154.51 points, or 6.24%, to close at 2,630.07. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 413.24 points, or 5.6%, to close at 7,797.54 points.
  • Agricultural commodity futures mostly declined Thursday. Corn was a bright spot, edging higher on a marketing-year-high export sales tally and despite continued pressure from ethanol plants going offline due to sagging ethanol prices. A day after rallying, wheat futures declined on profit-taking from traders seeking further directional indicators from COVID-19 effects that sparked a recent run-up in wheat markets. Soybean futures dipped nearby, but edged higher beyond with support from soybean meal, which advanced on continued ideas of strengthening demand despite expected dried distillers’ grains scarcity. May corn edged up ¼¢ to close at $3.48¾ a bu. Chicago May wheat fell 11¢ to close at $5.69 a bu. Kansas City May wheat fell 13¾¢ to close at $4.87¼ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat declined 6¼¢ to close at $5.31¼ a bu. May soybeans fell 1¼¢ to close at $8.80¼ a bu, though later months were higher. May soybean meal added $1.20 to close at $322.90 a ton. May soybean oil slipped 0.14¢ to close at 26.50¢ a lb.
  • US gold futures advanced Thursday, adding to sharp early-week gains after a partial retreat Wednesday. The April future was up $17.80 to close at $1,651.20 an oz.
  • US crude oil prices eased Thursday. The April future was down $1.89 to close at $22.60 a barrel.
  • The US dollar slipped Thursday for the fourth consecutive session.

Recap for March 25

  • With soft red winter futures leading the way, wheat futures rallied Wednesday on technical buying and increased domestic and global demand. Hard red futures also advanced on surging demand for bread and baked foods related to the coronavirus. Corn futures endured choppy trading but edged higher by closing with support from renewed export demand. Soybeans retreated from early gains to close mixed, but losses were limited by ideas of potential supply disruption in South America. May corn added 1¼¢ to close at $3.48½ a bu. Chicago May wheat jumped 18½¢ to close at $5.80 a bu, a two-month high. Kansas City May wheat added 10¼¢ to close at $5.01 a bu. Minneapolis May wheat rose 2½¢ to close at $5.37½ a bu. May soybeans fell 5¼¢ to close at $8.81½ a bu. May soybean meal declined $10.40 to close at $321.70 a ton. May soybean oil added 0.09¢ to close at 26.64¢ a lb.
  • Word of an agreement between Congress and the Trump administration on a $2 trillion stimulus package to combat COVID-19 fallout sent the S&P 500 and Dow industrials higher Wednesday. But economic anxiety remained part of the trading landscape as the Nasdaq eased and the Dow retreated about 500 points in the last 15 minutes of trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 495.64 points, or 2.39%, to close at 21,200.55, recording its first back-to-back gains since February. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 28.23 points, or 1.15%, for a close of 2,475.56. The Nasdaq Composite fell 33.56 points, or 0.45%, to close at 7,384.30 points.
  • After advancing $176.20 in the first two days of the week, US gold futures gave back some of their gains Wednesday. The April future fell $27.40 to close at $1,633.40 an oz.
  • US crude oil prices closed higher Wednesday. The April future was up 48¢ to close at $24.49 a barrel.
  • The US dollar closed lower Wednesday for the third consecutive session.

Recap for March 24

  • Investors’ hopes for a US stimulus bill to reverse the effects of COVID-19 sent equity markets through the roof Tuesday. The Dow industrials index gained more than 11% in its biggest one-day point jump ever and its largest percentage move since 1933. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skyrocketed 2,112.98 points, or 11.37%, to close at 20,704.91. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped 209.93 points, or 9.38%, for a close of 2,447.33 with recently-battered energy stocks the biggest gainers. The Nasdaq Composite soared 557.18 points, or 8.12%, to close at 7,417.86 points. The three major indexes remained down at least 24% from their mid-February highs.
  • After falling sharply last week, US gold futures were sharply higher for a second day Tuesday, making for a total advance of $176.20 so far this week. The April future rose $93.20 to close at $1,660.80 an oz, a 5.9% advance, the best one-day performance since 2009, marking what some analysts said was a return to normal market function.
  • Despite a poor outlook for ethanol firmly in place, corn futures advanced Tuesday from Monday’s multi-year lows as farmers’ sales declined and traders covered short positions. Wheat futures were mixed: hard red spring and hard red winter advanced as soft red winter dipped under profit-taking pressure following a recent rally. Soybean futures trading was choppy, but ultimately pulled out an increase with values underpinned by ideas of increased soymeal demand. May corn added 3¾¢ to close at 3.47¼ a bu. Chicago May wheat shed 1¢ per bu to close at $5.61½ a bu; later months were mixed in a narrow range. Kansas City May wheat added 1¼¢ to close at $4.90¾ a bu. Minneapolis May wheat rose 4¾¢ to close at $5.35 a bu. May soybeans added 2¾¢ to close at $8.86¾ a bu. May soybean meal declined $1.50 to close at $332.10 a ton. May soybean oil added 0.41¢ to close at 26.55¢ a lb.
  • The US dollar extended Monday’s trend with a lower close Tuesday.
  • US crude oil prices closed higher Tuesday. The April future was up 65¢, or 2.8%, to close at $24.01 a barrel.