Recap for April 18

  • Futures trading was subdued the day before markets closed for Good Friday. Soybean futures edged higher Thursday despite concerns about weak export demand and large South American harvests. Wheat futures posted mostly small losses while corn futures were narrowly mixed after U.S. wheat export sales in the week ended April 11 were reported in line with analysts’ expectations and corn sales topped estimates. Chicago May wheat dipped 2¾c to close at $4.44¼ a bu, Kansas City May eased ½c to close at $4.20 a bu, and Minneapolis May lost 4¼c to close at $5.23¼ a bu. May corn gained ¼c to $3.58½ a bu. May soybeans added 1½c to close at $8.80½ a bu. May soybean meal dropped 70c to close at $303.20 a ton. May soybean oil added 0.34c to close at 28.80c a lb.
  • U.S. equity markets were higher Thursday as investors continued to sift through corporate earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 110.00 points to close at 26,559.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 4.58 points to close at 2,905.03, though the index remains up 16% for the year and 1% below last year’s record. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 1.98 points to close at 7,998.06.
  • U.S. crude oil futures edged higher Thursday after the Energy Information Administration indicated U.S. oil inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels last week, their first decline in four weeks. The May contract was up 24c to close at $64 per barrel.
  • The U.S. dollar closed higher for a third straight session Thursday after the Commerce Department said retail sales increased from a month earlier seasonally-adjusted 1.6% in March to $514.1 billion.
  • U.S. gold futures declined Thursday. The April contract lost 30c to close at $1,271.90 an oz.

Recap for April 17

  • Soy complex futures declined Wednesday despite tentative scheduling of trade talks between Beijing and Washington as indications of large crops in South America raised export concerns for U.S. soybeans. Tuesday’s sharp declines in wheat futures spurred short covering and bargain buying, leading futures to edge higher on Wednesday. Corn futures edged lower. Chicago May wheat added 2c to close at $4.47 a bu, Kansas City May advanced 3½c to close at $4.20½ a bu, and Minneapolis May edged up ¼c to close at $5.27½ a bu. May corn slipped ¾c to $3.58¼ a bu. May soybeans sank 9c to close at $8.79 a bu. May soybean meal dropped $2.60 to close at $303.90 a ton. May soybean oil lost 0.26c to close at 28.42c a lb.
  • U.S. equity markets continued a shaky week Wednesday, closing slightly lower on a growing chasm in health care stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 3.12 points to close at 26,449.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index eased 6.61 points to close at 2,900.45, though the index remains up 16% for the year and 1% below last year’s record. The Nasdaq Composite Index eased 4.15 points to close at 7,996.08.
  • U.S. crude oil futures fell Wednesday. The May contract was down 29c to close at $63.76 per barrel.
  • The U.S. dollar closed higher for a second day in a row on Wednesday.
  • U.S. gold futures declined as they often do when the dollar strengthens. The April contract lost 40c to close at $1,272.20 an oz.

Recap for April 16

  • Strong crop ratings and increased forecasts for global harvests weighed on U.S. grain and soybean futures Tuesday, pressuring soft red winter wheat futures to a one-month low and Minneapolis and Kansas City futures to new contract lows. May corn dropped 3¾c to $3.59 a bu. May soybeans dropped 10¾c to close at $8.88 a bu. May soybean meal retreated $4.50 to close at $306.50 a ton. May soybean oil eased 0.09c to close at 28.72c a lb. Chicago May wheat fell 14½c to close at $4.45 a bu, Kansas City May dropped 10¼c to close at $4.17 a bu, and Minneapolis May eased 4½c to close at $5.27¼ a bu.
  • U.S. equity markets advanced Tuesday in thin trading. Concern about tightening health care regulations pressured those shares, offsetting gains elsewhere and leaving the S&P 500 little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 67.89 points to close at 26,452.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index edged up 1.48 points to close at 2,907.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 24.21 points to close at 8,000.22.
  • Optimism about improving economic growth and commodity demand boosted U.S. crude oil futures, which crept higher along with stocks and other risk assets. The May contract was up 65c to close at $64.05 per barrel on Friday.
  • The U.S. dollar closed higher Monday despite data released Tuesday revealing U.S. industrial output fell 0.1% in March from February, missing economists’ expectations for a 0.2% gain. Investors instead were focusing on upcoming data from the world's second-largest economy, China, on industrial production, investment in fixed assets and gross domestic product.
  • Meanwhile, U.S. gold futures declined, the April contract losing $14.20 to close at $1,272.60 an oz.

Recap for April 15

  • With parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri still affected by spring flooding, traders looking at the potential for further wet weather and planting delays supported corn and soybean futures Monday. Large global inventories offset potential spring wheat planting delays, pressuring wheat futures. May corn advanced 1¾c to $3.62¾ a bu. May soybeans added 3½c to close at $8.98¾ a bu. May soybean meal advanced $3.10 to close at $311 a ton. May soybean oil eased 0.14c to close at 28.81c a lb. Chicago May wheat fell 5c to close at $4.59½ a bu, Kansas City May dropped 7c to close at $4.27¼ a bu and Minneapolis May edged up ½c to close at $5.31¾ a bu, though forward months all declined.
  • U.S. stocks eased Monday after mixed earnings reports caused bank shares to slide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased early-session gains to pare 27.53 points and close at 26,384.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 1.83 points to close at 2,905.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 8.15 points to close at 7,976.01.
  • U.S. crude oil futures fell Monday after a weekend report said Russia may abandon a December agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce oil production. The May contract was down 49c to close at $63.40 per barrel on Friday.
  • The value of the U.S. dollar fell Monday.
  • U.S. gold futures also declined Monday; the April contract was down $3.80 to close at $1,286.80 an oz.

Recap for April 12

  • Winter wheat futures closed higher on reports of new export tenders that show U.S. wheat is competitively priced. Spring wheat futures closed lower Friday after a weather premium that had built up over the week eroded throughout the day. Nearby soybean futures were unchanged despite a week featuring a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, a palm oil report, the CONAB report and a major spring snowstorm. Corn futures trading was quiet until a burst of short-covering pushed prices slightly higher near the close. May corn advanced 1c to $3.61 a bu. May soybeans were unchanged at $8.95¼ a bu, though August-forward contracts edged lower. May soybean meal advanced 70c to close at $307.90 a ton and May soybean oil eased 0.03c to close at 28.95c a lb. Chicago May wheat gained 4c to close at $4.64½ a bu, Kansas City May added 3¾c to close at $4.34¼ a bu and Minneapolis May fell 2c to close at $5.31¼ a bu.
  • U.S. stocks advanced Friday after JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, two of the nation’s biggest banks, reported earnings that beat expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 269.25 points to close at 26,412.30. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 19.09 points to close at 2,907.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 36.80 points to close at 7,984.16.
  • Strong gains in U.S. equity markets gave commodity markets a boost and helped U.S. crude oil futures to close higher on a weekly basis for a sixth consecutive week. The May contract was up 31c to close at $63.89 per barrel on Friday.
  • After a strong round of earnings releases, investors dumped safe-haven assets and reverted to riskier ones such as stocks. That left the value of the U.S. dollar lower on Friday.
  • U.S. gold futures edged higher. The April contract was up $2 to close at $1,290.60 an oz.