Gold: Opening this week at $1206.22 USD, gold dropped until the 15th (coincidental with the FOMC) , then climbed to ultimately close at $1229.55 USD (1.9% increase).
Silver: Opening at $17.00 USD, silver dropped until Tuesday the 15th, and then enjoyed a bullish climb to close at $17.36 USD (2.1% increase).
Platinum: Platinum opened at $943.50 USD, and followed the path of its sister metals. Platinum closed this week at $963.00 USD (2.1% increase).
Palladium: Palladium opened this week at 749.00, enjoyed an initial jump in prices, and a subsequent fall until the 15th. Palladium then climbed to close at $775.50 (4.1% increase).
Most notably, the Fed has announced that they are planning to raise interest rates. The economic response was mixed, metals and futures had a brief rally and then correction.
Domestic economic indicators have reached their highest levels in decades, with more growth expected.
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PPI-FD (March 14, 2017 8:30 AM ET): The Producer Price Index is a conglomerate of indexes that measure the price of goods and services received by domestic producers. The PPI, therefore, is used as an indication of inflation. Generally, the PPI-FD outperformed expectations. The consensus was for 0.1% growth over the previous month, the PPI-FD returned 0.3% growth and 2.2% growth over the previous year.
Consumer Price Index (March 15, 2017 8:30 AM ET): The CPI is a measure of the change in a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by the end user. Like the Producer Price Index, the CPI is a measure of inflation, thought at the level of the consumer rather than the producer. Economists accurately predicted month-over-month, and year-over-year change (0.1% growth and 2.7% growth respectively).
Retail Sales (March 15, 2017 8:30 AM ET): The Retail Sales Report is a direct measure of demand. These data are collected as a measure of all receipts at stores that offer goods and services to the end consumer. Strong retail sales are generally associated with economic strength and growth. As with the CPI, Retail Sales predictions proved accurate with a 0.1% growth, which appears to be a product (in large part) to the energy industry.
EIA Petroleum Status Report (March 15, 2017 10:30 AM ET): This index measures the current domestic inventories of petroleum products including crude oil, gasoline, and distillates. For the first time in 10 weeks, EIA posted a decline in inventories. Crude oil fell by 200 thousand barrels, gasoline by 3.1 million barrels, and distillates by 4.2 million barrels.
Housing Starts (March 16, 2017 8:30 AM ET): This is a measure of the number of permits filed and construction started for new construction of domiciles including homes, apartments, condos, etc. The housing market is particularly sensitive to interest rates, and offers some insight into consumer sentiment. It was expected that 1.270 million new permits would be filed and construction projects started. There were, however, 1.288 million permits submitted, but only 1.213 million projects started.
Jobless Claims (March 16, 2017 8:30 AM ET): This report is a measure of the new claims filed for unemployment benefits. Recently, the Jobless Claims Report has provided some of the most compelling evidence for economic strength. This week’s report came in slightly higher than predicted (241 thousand).
Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey (March 16, 2017 8:30 AM ET): This is a “general state of…” index for the manufacturing industry in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve District, which provides some insight into the base, industrial production in the United States. It was predicted that the index would be 30.0, though it actually returned as 32.8. This report has the talking heads beside themselves, using language like, “Robust is a modest description…”
Industrial Production (March 17, 2017 9:15 AM ET): The Industrial Production Report measures the actual production in industries including manufacturing, mining, electric, and gas utilities. Production reports returned favorably, hitting pretty near the consensus marks. Most notably, we are currently utilizing approximately 75.4% of our production capacity.
Existing Home Sales (March 22, 2017 10:00 AM ET): As the name suggests, the Existing Home Sales Report measures the number of existing homes (those that have had occupancy). Investors pay attention to this index, not only to understand the housing market, but also as an index of economic momentum. The previous report showed 5.690 million homes sold with a 3.3% month-over-month increase, and a 3.8% year-over-year increase.
EIA Petroleum Status Report (March 22, 2017 10:30 AM ET): This is a measure of the inventories of crude oil, gasoline, and distillates kept by the United States. The previous report showed the general decrease in 10 weeks.
Jobless Claims (March 23, 2017 8:30 AM ET): The Jobless Claims Report is a weekly measure of the number of claims filed for unemployment benefits in the United States. Investors pay close attention to this index because it is a direct measure of the strength of employment in the US, and an indication of economic strength. The previous report returned 241 thousand new claims filed.
New Home Sales (March 23, 2017 10:00 AM ET): In connection the Housing Starts and Existing Home Sales reports, the New Home Sales paints a comprehensive picture of the state of the housing industry, and indicates economic momentum. The previous report returned 555 thousand homes sold.
Durable Goods Orders (March 24, 2017 8:30 AM ET): This report measures the number of new orders for durable goods placed with domestic manufacturers for immediate and future delivery. This report is a general index for the health and trajectory of the economy. The previous report showed a 1.8% month-over-month increase, but a 0.6% year-over-year decrease.
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