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 Thursday’s close.
- In general, markets have been rallying this week.
- The preliminary GDP figure was released this morning and was way above analyst expectations. Quarter-over-quarter GDP growth is 1% versus expectations of 0.4% (this is of course an annualized figure).
- The leading indicator, month-over-month core durable goods orders (ex-transportation), has increased more than expected, according to the latest Census Bureau report on Thursday. Growth stands at 1.8% compared to the consensus of 0.0%.
- Consumer confidence has decreased as evidenced by the Conference Board report on Tuesday. The reported figure came in at 92.2 versus the forecast of 97.2.
- Core month-over-month CPI reported last Friday was better than expected with growth of 0.3% versus the consensus of 0.1%.
- The Ifo Institute for Economic Research released its monthly German Ifo Business Climate report on Tuesday, which surveys 7,000 companies on their expected business conditions for the next six months. The report showed a worsening situation, with the figure at 105.7 versus the consensus of 107.
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Risk Appetite Review
- The overall market as measured by the S&P 500 ETF (SPY ) benchmark was up by 2.29% for the week.
- The Equal Weight ETF (RSP ) took the lead in performance this week with an increase of 2.55%.
- The worst performer out of the various S&P 500 ETFs we track in our weekly Scorecard was the High Beta ETF (SPHB ), up only 2.04%.
Major Index Review
- Things are starting to look up as we can see from the rally of major index ETFs, which are all up in the last week and month.
- The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM ) has outperformed the group this week with a 2.99% rally.
- What stands out in the below chart is that the emerging-markets ETF (EEM ) has performed the worst this week but was the best performer for the rolling month. This was led by Russia’s and Brazil’s great index performance this past month.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities performance is mixed this week and rolling month.
- The two outliers of the group are the Brazilian ETF (EWZ ) and the Russian ETF (RSX ). After being hit hard these last few months, these two ETFs have shown great strength over the last week and rolling month and are the best performers. Out of the two, EWZ outperformed and is up 4.04% this week and 14.06% over the rolling month.
- The India ETF (EPI ) was the worst performer for the week and the rolling month with a 1.29% and a 7.02% loss, respectively.
- As is often the case, commodities saw mixed results for the week and rolling month.
- The elephant in the room is natural gas (UNG ). Its performance has been terrible over the last week and rolling month, with a loss of 6.78% and 18.13%, respectively. Natural gas prices in general are at their lowest levels in over 21 years. Part of the reason for this is low demand due to a warm winter.
- Crude oil (USO ) has outperformed all the other major commodities with a gain of 2.92% over the last week.
- The safe-haven investment, gold (GLD ), has outperformed for the rolling month during these uncertain times, with a huge gain of 11.50%.
- Although the U.S. dollar ETF (UUP ) has increased 0.32% this week, it is down 2.02% for the rolling month. Part of the reason for the decline was the U.S. dollar net long positions falling last week by $5.6 billion to $14 billion. Investors are increasing exposure to the euro and Japanese yen instead.
- The Australian dollar (FXA ) was the best performer for the week with a gain of 2.19%.
- The British pound (FXB ) has been hit the most this week and rolling month, with losses of 2.02% and 2.06%, respectively. This is mainly due to concerns of a Brexit.
- The Japanese yen (FXY ) is the best performer for the rolling month with a gain of 4.92%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.