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.
- Global markets were all up this week, with one exception.
- The Bank of Japan disappointed markets on Friday by announcing a smaller-than-expected increase in monetary stimulus. The yen surged after the BoJ said it will boost ETF purchases by $26 billion a year, citing Brexit concerns.
- Two days ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a 28 trillion yen fiscal stimulus package in order to shore up confidence and achieve targeted inflation.
- Last weekend, at the G20 meeting, policymakers said in unison they were prepared to deploy all policy tools to withstand the negative impact on the global economy stemming from Britain’s exit from the E.U.
- In the U.S., consumer confidence and new home sales were substantially higher than forecasted: 97.3 versus estimated 95.6 for consumer confidence, and 592,000 against 562,000 forecast for the number of new homes sold during the previous month.
- The continued good data prompted the Federal Reserve to strike an optimistic tone at its meeting this Wednesday. However, that was not enough to determine policymakers to act, and they left interest rates unchanged.
- Crude oil inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels this week versus an expected drop of 2.1 million, prompting a slide in oil prices.
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Risk Appetite Review
- The broad market is slightly up this week, with the S&P 500 (SPY ) rising 0.17%.
- Low Volatility ETF (SPLV ) was down 0.30% since last Thursday.
- The Equal Weight ETF (RSP ) had the best performance of all, jumping 0.41%.
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Major Index Review
- All major indexes have jumped slightly this week, with the exception of Dow Jones.
- Nasdaq 100 (QQQ ) has shot up 1.50% this week and an impressive 11.27% for the rolling month, representing the best performance of all indexes for either periods. The technology index has benefitted from better-than-expected financial results announced recently by Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), and Facebook (FB).
- Dow Jones (DIA ) has posted the worst performance for the week, falling 0.34%, as many of the blue-chip traditional companies struggle to keep pace with the earnings of technology firms.
- For the rolling month, the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA ) is again the worst performer, with a 6.50% gain. The fund — heavily exposed to Japan and Europe — grapples with weak underlying fundamentals.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign ETFs were mixed this week.
- The best performer for the week is Germany (EWG ), which rose 2.33% after data from employment to consumer sentiment showed resilience in spite of an uncertain environment following Brexit.
- The worst performer for the week is Brazil (EWZ ), down 0.86%. However, Brazil continues to be the best performer for the rolling month, up a staggering 14.58% on expectations that the Olympic Games will boost its fragile economy.
- For the rolling month, Japan (EWJ ) is the worst performer, with a 3.58% gain, despite fiscal stimulus. The country’s equities were down Friday following the BoJ’s disappointing stimulus measures, which supported the yen.
- Commodities were mixed for the week.
- Natural gas (UNG ) has had the best weekly performance, up 4.66%. The rise was largely due to data from the U.S. government showing that stockpiles increased less than expected.
- Silver (SLV ) is the best performer for the rolling month, gaining 13.67%.
- Oil (USO ) is again the worst performer for the week and the rolling month — down 7.82% and 15.18%, respectively — on fears a supply glut is in the making. U.S. crude inventories climbed 1.7 million barrels during the past week.
- Currencies have all logged gains this week, with two exceptions.
- The Japanese yen (FXY ) is the best performer for the week, shooting up 0.66%, as attempts by the country’s authorities to drive down the value of the currency are apparently failing. For the rolling month, however, the yen is the worst performer with a 2.88% drop, reflecting expectations of a larger stimulus package in the weeks preceding the BoJ meeting.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) is the worst performer for the week, dropping 0.44%. The fall took place largely after the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates this week.
- For the rolling month, the Australian dollar (FXA ) is the best performer, climbing 1.47%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.