Recap for May 21

  • Falling export demand for US soybeans amid renewed US-China tension served to depress soybean futures to a two-week low Thursday despite a USDA export sales report that came in above expectations. Corn futures also declined amid increased farmer sales of old-crop corn to make way for what is expected to be a massive 2020 crop. Tight supplies in key export competitor Russia helped winter wheat futures advance, while spring wheat futures declined. July corn was down 1¾¢, closing at $3.17¾ a bu. Chicago July wheat added 2¼¢ to close at $5.16 a bu. Kansas City July wheat added 1¼¢ to close at $4.54½ a bu. Minneapolis July wheat fell 2½¢ to close at $5.18 a bu. July soybeans were down 11¾¢ to close at $8.35 a bu. July soybean meal fell $3 to close at $282.50 a ton. July soybean oil was down 0.25¢ to close at 27.11¢ a lb.
  • Labor Department statistics reflecting another large wave of Americans filing unemployment benefit claims led US equity markets to pare gains from earlier in the week on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 101.78 points, or 0.41%, to close at 24,474.12. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 23.10 points, or 0.78%, to close at 2,948.51. The Nasdaq Composite fell 90.90 points, or 0.97%, to close at 9,284.88. Equity markets remain on track for large weekly gains despite Thursday’s losses.
  • US crude oil futures advanced for a third day Thursday, the July contract was up 43¢ to close at $33.92 per barrel.
  • The value of the US dollar reversed course and closed higher Thursday.
  •  US gold futures also reversed Thursday, falling in the wake of the stronger dollar. The June future was down $30.20 to close at $1,721.90 an oz.

Recap for May 20

  • Black Sea-region dryness pushed US wheat futures higher Wednesday with additional support from less-than-ideal conditions and progress reported during the virtual wheat tour of the US plains. Corn prices were nearly flat as a planting pace exceeding normal was offset by renewed demand for ethanol and animal feed. Gains in soybeans were a product of increased value of Brazilian currency against the US dollar, which had China refocusing on US purchases. July corn was down 1¾¢, closing at $3.19½ a bu. Chicago July wheat jumped 15¢ to close at $5.13¾ a bu. Kansas City July wheat added 11¾¢ to close at $4.53¼ a bu. Minneapolis July wheat rose 12¼¢ to close at $5.20½ a bu. July soybeans were up 4¼¢ to close at $8.46¾ a bu. July soybean meal rose 90¢ to close at $285.50 a ton. July soybean oil was up 0.27¢ to close at 27.36¢ a lb.
  • Economic recovery prospects boosted investor optimism as all 50 states took steps to relax their coronavirus restrictions. Major US stock indexes closed higher Wednesday. All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 index advanced, with the battered energy group gaining the most, 3.8%, in concert with a rally in crude oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 369.04 points, or 1.52%, to close at 24,575.90. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 48.67 points, or 1.67%, to close at 2,971.61. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 190.67 points, or 2.08%, to close at 9,375.78.
  • US crude oil futures advanced again Wednesday, the July contract was up $1.53 to close at $33.49 per barrel.
  • The value of the US dollar continued to weaken for a third day Wednesday.
  •  US gold futures continued to advanced Wednesday as the dollar dipped further. The June future was up $6.50 to close at $1,752.10 an oz.

Recap for May 19

  • The rapid clip of soybean planting progress weighed on soybean futures Tuesday. Short-covering and technical buying gave corn futures a boost. Wheat futures were mixed, soft winter and spring futures benefiting from lower condition ratings and bargain buying, while hard red winter futures mostly declined. July corn was up ½¢ to settle at $3.21¼ a bu. Chicago July wheat rose 1¾¢ to close at $4.98¾ a bu. Kansas City July wheat fell 4¾¢ to close at $4.41½ a bu; 2022 contracts advanced in a narrow range. Minneapolis July wheat rose 3½¢ to close at $5.08¼ a bu. July soybeans fell 2½¢ to close at $8.42½ a bu, later months were mixed. July soybean meal fell 50¢ to close at $284.60 a ton; later months also were mixed. July soybean oil was down 0.23¢ to close at 27.09¢ a lb.
  • Investors grew skittish about the possibilities for a coronavirus vaccine and sent US equity markets lower Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 390.51 points, or 1.59%, to close at 24,206.86 a day after the index notched its biggest rally in more than a month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 30.97 points, or 1.05%, to close at 2,922.94. The Nasdaq Composite declined 49.72 points, or 0.54%, to close at 9,185.10.
  • US crude oil futures advanced Tuesday, the June contract was up 68¢ to close at $32.50 per barrel.
  • The value of the US dollar continued to weaken Tuesday.
  •  US gold futures advanced Tuesday as the dollar lost ground. The June future was up $11.20 to close at $1,745.60 an oz.

Recap for May 18

  • US equity markets that have rebounded sharply from late-March lows continued to be sensitive to coronavirus vaccine developments. They did so again Monday, the down adding more than 900 points after drug maker Moderna indicated its experimental coronavirus vaccine induced immune responses in some healthy volunteers vaccinated in a clinical study. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 911.95 points, or 3.85%, to close at 24,597.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 90.21 points, or 3.15%, to close at 2,953.91. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 220.27 points, or 2.44%, to close at 9,234.83.
  • US crude oil futures advanced Monday, the June contract was up $2.39 to close at $31.82 per barrel.
  • Corn and soybean futures closed higher Monday with support from Chinese demand and gains in crude oil. Gains in corn were limited by spillover pressure in wheat markets, where futures declined to their lowest levels in two months on sluggish export demand and rain in some hard red winter dry areas. July corn was up 1½¢ to settle at $3.20¾ a bu; later months were mixed. Chicago July wheat fell 3¼¢ to close at $4.97 a bu. Kansas City July wheat fell 6¢ to close at $4.46¼ a bu. Minneapolis July wheat fell 1½¢ to close at $5.04¾ a bu. July soybeans added 6½¢ to close at $8.45 a bu. July soybean meal fell $2.40 to close at $285.10 a ton; later months were mixed. July soybean oil was up 0.74¢ to close at 27.32¢ a lb.
  • The value of the US dollar weakened Monday.
  •  US gold futures declined Monday despite the weaker dollar, the June future was down $21.90 to close at $1,734.40 an oz.

Recap for May 15

  • Signals of strong export competition and increasing global stockpiles weighed on most wheat futures Friday with soft red futures notching their biggest weekly slide in a month at 4%. Corn futures advanced slightly within a recent range on worsening crop conditions in competing France. Soybean futures saw slight gains on reports of increased crushing of the oilseed in April. July corn was up 1¾¢ to settle at $3.19¼ a bu. Chicago July wheat fell 2¢ to close at $5.00¼ a bu. Kansas City July wheat edged up ½¢ to close at $4.52¼ a bu; later months were mixed. Minneapolis July wheat fell 1¾¢ to close at $5.06¼ a bu. July soybeans added 1½¢ to close at $8.38½ a bu. July soybean meal fell 70¢ to close at $287.50 a ton. July soybean oil was up 0.40¢ to close at 26.58¢ a lb.
  • Major US equity markets were lower for the week despite gaining ground Friday. Pressure came both from renewed trade tension with China and a wide range of indicators revealing how much the US economy has contracted over the past two months. Despite the weekly losses, the major indexes were each up at least 25% from their March lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 60.08 points, or 0.25%, to close at 23,685.42. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 11.20 points, or 0.39%, to close at 2,863.70. The Nasdaq Composite was up 70.84 points, or 0.79%, to close at 9,014.56.
  • US crude oil futures advanced Friday, the June contract was up $1.87 to close at $29.43 per barrel.
  • The value of the US dollar weakened Friday.
  • US gold futures climbed Friday, the June future up $15.40 to close at $1,756.30 an oz.