Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher

Gold Futures Settle Lower For 4th Straight Day

Gold futures settled lower on Tuesday, losing ground for a fourth straight session, amid hopes the Fed will start hiking interest rates from mid-2022.

Following President Joe Biden nominating Fed Chair Jerome Powell for another term, the markets are bracing for tighter monetary policy from the central bank sometime in the near future.

Gold futures ended down by $22.50 or about 1.2% at $1,783.80 an ounce, the lowest settlement since November 3.

Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.862 at $23.435 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.4235 per pound, gaining $0.0270.

Fed Chief Powell has been supportive of taking action to help fight soaring inflation. His nomination provided a little bit more legitimacy to market pricing in terms of policy tightening next year.

Traders were also betting on an ECB rate hike next year after ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau, said on Monday that the central bank is “serious” about ending its emergency bond-buying program in March and may not need to expand regular asset purchases to cover the shortfall.

Separately, board member Isabel Schnabel said today that the risks to inflation are skewed to the upside and that plans to end pandemic emergency bond buys remain valid.

Gracell Biotechnologies Stock Jumps 15%

Shares of Gracell Biotechnologies Inc. (GRCL) are gaining 15% on Tuesday morning. The Chinese clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company announced senior management team’s share purchase plan.

GRCL is currently trading at $7.40, up $1.02 or 15.99%, on the Nasdaq, on a heavy volume of 15.3 million shares, above average volume of 146 thousand.. The stock has traded between $5.86 and $33.70 in the 52-week period.

Gracell Biotechnologies, a company dedicated to developing highly efficacious and affordable cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, announced that members of its senior management team, including its Chairman of Board and Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Cao, Chief Financial Officer Dr. Yili Kevin Xie and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Martina Sersch, have informed the company of their intention to use their personal funds to purchase the company’s American depositary shares on the open market for an aggregate amount up to a maximum of $2 million within the next three months.

Apple files lawsuit against Israel’s NSO Group

Apple Inc said on Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users with its Pegasus spyware.

The iPhone maker said it is also seeking to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or devices to preventfurther abuse.

Seven-Year Note Auction Attracts Above Average Demand

After announcing the results of this month’s two-year and five-year notes auctions on Monday, the Treasury Department revealed Tuesday that this month’s auction of $59 billion worth of seven-year notes attracted strong demand.

The seven-year note auction drew a high yield of 1.588 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.42.

The Treasury sold $62 billion worth of seven-year notes last month, drawing a high yield of 1.461 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.25.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

The ten previous seven-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.27.

On Monday, the Treasury revealed the auction of $58 billion worth of two-year notes drew well below average demand, while the auction of $59 billion worth of five-year notes drew slightly below average demand.

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Gap Inc. Q3 adjusted earnings Miss Estimates

Below are the earnings highlights for Gap Inc. (GPS):

-Earnings: -$152 million in Q3 vs. $95 million in the same period last year.
-EPS: -$0.40 in Q3 vs. $0.25 in the same period last year.
-Excluding items, Gap Inc. reported adjusted earnings of $102 million or $0.27 per share for the period.
-Analysts projected $0.50 per share
-Revenue: $3.94 billion in Q3 vs. $3.99 billion in the same period last year.

-Guidance:
Full year EPS guidance: $1.25 to $1.40

Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, rebounding strongly from earlier losses.

Worries about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe, and concerns about excess supply in the market amid plans by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K., weighed on crude oil prices earlier in the day.

The U.S. said today that it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves to cool prices after OPEC+ producers repeatedly ignored calls for more crude.

The Biden administration said it would release 50 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which will start hitting the market in mid to late December.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $1.75 or about 2.3% at $78.50 a barrel, well off the day’s low of $75.30 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $2.65 or 3.3% at $82.37 a barrel a little while ago.

Traders now look ahead to the weekly oil reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). While the API’s report is due later today, the EIA will released its inventory data Wednesday morning.