To help investors keep up with the markets, we present our ETF Scorecard. The Scorecard takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. The weekly performance is from last Friday’s open to this week’s Thursday close.
- Markets are all down this week, with one small exception
- Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose to 101.1 in August from 96.7 in the previous month, trumping expectations of 97.2.
- Inflation in Europe was 0.2% higher in August compared to the same period a year ago. Analysts had expected a reading of 0.3%.
- In the U.S. crude oil inventories were up 2.3 million barrels this week, renewing fears of a supply glut.
- A Chinese manufacturing gauge broke into expansion mode in August to 50.4 from 49.9 in the previous month.
- Purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry were upbeat in the U.K., serving as proof that the impact from the Brexit referendum was limited. Manufacturing PMI stood at 53.3 in August, beating forecasts of 49.1.
- On the other side of the Atlantic, ISM’s manufacturing gauge was in contraction mode at 49.4 against expectations of 52.2.
- U.S. unemployment claims stood at 263,000 for the week, while expectations had a reading of 265,000.
- The Federal Reserve’s Chair Janet Yellen has strongly hinted that a rate hike was a live possibility this year, but was not specific on timing.
- The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in August against estimates of 180,000. The move sparked a dollar retreat.
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Risk Appetite Review
- The broad market (SPY ) has fallen 0.24% this week.
- Low Volatility ETF (SPLV ) is down 0.83% since last Thursday, the poorest performance of the bunch.
- The high beta ETF (SPHB ) has dropped 0.68%.
Major Index Review
- All major indexes are down this week, with one exception.
- The technology index (QQQ ) is the only asset that has risen over the past week, by a meager 0.07%, amid low volatility.
- Emerging markets (EEM ) have posted the worst performance for the second consecutive week, down 0.94%, as bets of an interest rate hike in the U.S. have increased.
- For the rolling month, iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA ) is the best performer with a 2.12% increase. The index is composed of stocks stretching Europe, Australia and Asia.
- Dow Jones (DIA ) is again the worst performer for the rolling month, up 0.22%, as it is hovering near all-time highs.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities are mixed this week.
- India (EPI ) has posted the best performance this week with a 1.97% advance, as the country’s central bank issued an upbeat annual growth report and a string of companies reported positive results. India remains the worst performer for the rolling month with a 2.01% increase.
- Russia (RSX ) had the worst performance of the bunch this week, falling 1.79%, on renewed worries that the country’s Western allies may impose new sanctions if the conflict in the Ukraine escalates. A slide in oil prices has also taken a toll.
- China (FXI ) is the best performer for the rolling month with a 6.08% rise, as bets increased on the government unleashing new stimulus measures.
- Commodities were all down, with one exception.
- Oil (USO ) fell off a cliff this week, as much as 8.04%, on a higher-than-expected rise in U.S. stockpiles, which are now at record highs. Despite the abrupt fall, the crude remains the best performer for the rolling month, up 4.90%.
- Silver (SLV ) has been the only riser from the commodities bunch this week with a 0.84% increase. But the metal remains the worst performer for the rolling month, down 8.70%.
- Currencies were mixed for the week.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) has been the best performer for the week and the rolling month, up 1.15% and 0.53%, respectively, as the Federal Reserve suggested it will likely increase interest rates this year.
- The Japanese yen (FXY ) is the worst performer for the week and the rolling month, down 2.81% and 1.87%, as the currency retreated from high levels, helped by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s comments about a potential rate hike.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.