Recap for December 17

  • Lackluster economic data and recent stock market woes made investors anxious that oil demand will come in weaker than anticipated. U.S. crude oil futures closed below $50 per barrel for the first time since October 2017 on Monday. The January contract closed at $49.88 a barrel, down $1.32.
  • Investors looking ahead to Wednesday’s final Federal Reserve meeting of 2018 amid mounting signs of slowing economic growth around the world pressured U.S. equity markets Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 507.53 points and closed at 23,592.98. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 54.01 points to close at 2,545.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 156.93 points to close at 6,753.73.
  • After two sessions of declines, renewed anticipation of additional Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans firmed futures Monday. Profit-taking led to corn futures easing, while wheat futures ticked higher on a weaker U.S. dollar and rising wheat prices in chief competitor Russia. Chicago March wheat added 5¼c to close at $5.35¼ a bu. Kansas City March wheat added 3¾c to close at $5.22 a bu. Minneapolis March wheat rose 1¼c to close at $5.85¼ a bu. January soybeans were up 4¼c at $9.04¾ a bu. January soybean meal advanced $1.80 to close at $309.10 a ton, and January soybean oil fell 0.32c and closed at 28.17c a lb. March corn was down ¾c to close at $3.84 a bu.
  • The U.S. dollar weakened Monday.
  • U.S. gold futures closed higher, the December contract adding $10.40 to close at $1,247.40 an oz.

Recap for December 14

  • Disappointing economic data from China and the eurozone sparked a retreat by investors hesitant to enter the weekend with big bets on stocks in a volatile environment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dumped 496.87 points and closed at 24,100.51. It was only the third-steepest drop for the index this month, but it sent all three major equity markets into correction territory (meaning a 10% drop from a recent high) simultaneously for the first time since March 2016. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 50.59 points to close at 2,599.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 159.67 points to close at 6,910.66.
  • The potential for improved exports of U.S. corn boosted futures slightly on Friday, though the March contract edged down for the week. Smaller-than-expected purchases of U.S. soybeans by China pressured soy complex futures, as did growing global supplies. Technical trading and profit-taking sent the wheat complex lower Friday, but the market was underpinned by signs of rising global prices and an improving U.S. export pace. Chicago March wheat declined 6c to close at $5.30 a bu. Kansas City March wheat dipped 1¾c to close at $5.18¼ a bu. Minneapolis March wheat fell 4¼c to close at $5.84 a bu. January soybeans were down 6½c at $9.00½ a bu. January soybean meal retreated $1.20 to close at $307.30 a ton, and January soybean oil fell 0.34c and closed at 28.49c a lb. March corn was up ½c to close at $3.84¾ a bu.
  • Global growth concerns and a stronger U.S. dollar pressured U.S. crude oil futures Friday. The January contract closed at $51.20 a barrel, down $1.38.
  • The U.S. dollar firmed Friday.
  • U.S. gold futures closed lower as the dollar strengthened Friday, the December contract shedding $5.70 to close at $1,237.00 an oz.

Recap for December 13

  • Soybeans futures’ boost from resumption of sales to China was short-lived, and prices fell to a one-week low Thursday as traders’ focus shifted to burdensome U.S. and global supplies. Lackluster exports and spillover weakness from soybeans pressured corn futures. Strong weekly export sales and indications of tightening global supplies boosted wheat futures. Chicago March wheat advanced 9½c to close at $5.36 a bu, its highest since Oct. 18. Kansas City March wheat added 8¾c to close at $5.20 a bu. Minneapolis March wheat added 5¼c to close at $5.88¼ a bu. January soybeans were down 13c to $9.07 a bu. January soybean meal retreated $1.40 to close at $309.40 a ton, and January soybean oil fell 0.16c and closed at 28.64c a lb. March corn was down 1c to close at $3.84¼.
  • Investors focused on indications of improving trade relations, along with concerns about a creeping economic slowdown during choppy trading that left equity markets mixed at the close of trading Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 70.11 points and closed at 24,597.38. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.53 point to close at 2,650.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 27.98 points to close at 7,070.33.
  • Traders weighed declining U.S. stockpiles against higher production around
  • the world and pushed U.S. crude oil futures higher Thursday. The January contract closed at $52.58 a barrel, up $1.58.
  • The U.S. dollar edged higher Thursday.
  • U.S. gold futures declined as the dollar improved, the December contract shedding $1.70 to close at $1,242.70 an oz.

Recap for December 12

  • China bought at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans in deals valued at more than $180 million on Wednesday, the country’s first purchase of U.S. soybeans since U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in early December. Afterward, U.S. soybean futures hit a 4½-month high, but the market pared gains as news of the sale removed some of the uncertainty that had supported futures in recent days. March wheat contracts advanced on technical trading and signs of rising global prices. Corn futures edged higher. Chicago March wheat advanced 5½c to close at $5.26½ a bu. Kansas City March wheat added 6½c to close at $5.11¼ a bu. Minneapolis March wheat jumped 7¾c to close at $5.83 a bu. January soybeans were up 5c to close at $9.20 a bu. January soybean meal advanced $1.70 to close at $312.60 a ton, and January soybean oil added 0.08c and closed at 29.04c a lb. March corn was up ½c to close at $3.85¼.
  • Recent volatility continued unabated Wednesday and major U.S. equity indexes closed higher after a rocky afternoon of trading. The DJIA and S&P had fallen for four of the previous five sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 157.03 points and closed at 24,527.27 after earlier rising as much as 458 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 14.29 points to close at 2,651.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index grew 66.48 points to close at 7,098.31, notching a third consecutive advance.
  • U.S. crude oil futures reversed gains and closed lower after reports that the Iranian oil minister noted discord among OPEC members at its meeting last week. The January contract closed at $51.15 a barrel, down 50c.
  • The U.S. dollar fell Wednesday after the Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, which measures what Americans pay for products, was unchanged in November after a 0.3% rise in October.
  • U.S. gold futures improved as the dollar declined, the December contract adding $2.50 to close at $1,244.40 an oz.

Recap for December 11

  • After sliding initially, U.S. grain futures perked up after release of the monthly supply-and-demand forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Anticipation of Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products more than offset the report’s bearish global soybean stocks estimate and soy complex futures climbed modestly. Winter wheat futures ultimately fell on the U.S.D.A.’s lower U.S. wheat export forecast, while spring wheat contracts edged higher. The U.S.D.A.’s confirmation of lower corn usage for ethanol was not a surprise, and corn futures also edged higher. Chicago March wheat fell 4¼c to close at $5.21 a bu. Kansas City March wheat fell 5½c to close at $5.04¾ a bu. Minneapolis March wheat was steady at $5.75¼ a bu, and all other months edged higher. January soybeans were up 5¼c to close at $9.15 a bu. January soybean meal advanced 90c to close at $310.90 a ton, and January soybean oil added 0.20c and closed at 28.96c a lb. March corn was up ¾c to close at $3.84¾.
  • Equity indexes lurched between gains and losses Tuesday, ending mixed with the Nasdaq closing higher. President Donald Trump’s tweet that “very productive conversations” surrounding trade were taking place, caused the D.J.I.A. to rally, as did shares of automakers after China agreed to cut tariffs on U.S. cars. But the 30-stock index slumped after Trump sparred with top Democratic leaders over border security funding. The Dow Jones Industrial Average changed directions seven times during the session, five in the last 90 minutes, before finally closing 53.02 points lower at 24,370.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.94 point to close at 2,636.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 11.31 points to close at 7,031.83.
  • Uncertainty about whether an OPEC-led production cut will be enough to mop up a burgeoning crude supply glut and rebalance the market kept U.S. crude oil futures volatile Tuesday. The January contract closed at $51.65 a barrel, down 65c.
  • As financial markets remained turbulent, investors seeking safe assets helped the U.S. dollar close higher Tuesday. Further support was derived from the Labor Department’s release Tuesday of the latest producer-price index data, a measure of the prices businesses receive for their goods and services, which increased 0.1% in November from a month earlier, following a more robust 0.6% increase in October and a 0.2% climb in September.
  • U.S. gold futures declined as the dollar strengthened, the December contract falling $1.80 to close at $1,241.90 an oz.