Surging Commodity Prices Highlight Volatile Week

Geopolitical concerns and dismal inflation data weighed on sentiment

Deputy Editor
Mar 11, 2022 at 3:03 PM
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It was a wildly volatile week on Wall Street, as investors monitored the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. Surging commodity prices were in focus, particularly oil, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices hitting a 13-year high earlier in the week. As black gold soared, the market plummeted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) all logged their fourth-straight daily losses on Tuesday.

The Dow rose over 653 points on Wednesday, however, while the other two indexes turned in significant gains as well, as oil prices took a big step back. Still, it was a short-lived recovery, and Thursday found the market lower again amid geopolitical concerns and dismal inflation data. The three benchmarks were mixed at noon on Friday, while the Dow paced for its fifth-straight weekly loss

Russia-Ukraine Related Stocks

Geopolitical tensions and the spike in commodities moved plenty of sectors this week. Oil-related stocks surged, including Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), which rose to its highest level since May of 2019. Meanwhile, Shell PLC (SHEL) released a statement apologizing for buying a discounted shipment of Russian oil last week, and announced it is shutting down operations in Russia. General Electric (GE) also joined the growing list of names halting business with the country.

Gold mining exchange traded fund (ETF) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) staged a climb as well. Plus, rising crop prices sent agriculture name Archer-Daniels-Midland(ADM) to record highs, while PepsiCo (PEP) was highlighted after suspending soda sales in Russia.

FAANG Names Making Moves

Several Big Tech names made headlines this week. Apple (AAPL) held its first launch event of 2022, while Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) announced the acquisition of cybersecurity concern Mandiant (MNDT) for $5.4 billion in an all-cash deal. In addition, (AMZN) announced a 20-for-1 stock split this week, and also made the news after a report that the House Judiciary Committee requested that the Justice Department begin a criminal probe of the e-tail giant.


Next Week

The week ahead will be quiet in terms of earnings, though Cintas (CTAS), Dollar General (DG), FedEx (FDX), GameStop (GME), Lennar (LEN), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) are a few names releasing updates. There will be plenty of economic data on tap, though: The producer price index (PPI) will be out early in the week, while retail sales, the import price index, and the industrial production index are due out as well. Also highlighting the week is the Federal funds rate update, in which the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to hike the rate by 25-basis points. In the meantime, learn how to find the best stocks for options trading, and understand why current market volatility expectations are fascinating.


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