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.
- Wall Street and European stocks were down sharply this week, as volatility returned to the picture. The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly fell below 18,000 on Thursday, for the first time since July, before paring losses later in the session. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell to two-month lows on Thursday.
- Aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (AA) kicked off earnings season with a dismal quarterly report, which triggered a large sell-off in the U.S. market. The stock has since been downgraded by Bank of America.
- The minutes of the September 20-21 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings indicated that several officials supported raising interest rates “relatively soon,” provided that the United States economy continues to improve.
- In economic data, Chinese exports fell 10% in the 12 months through September, much worse than forecasted. Imports also fell unexpectedly, after rising in August for the first time in nearly two years.
- China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose at an annualized 1.9% in September, improving from 1.6% the previous month. Meanwhile, factory-gate prices edged up 0.1% year-over-year, the first rise in four-and-a-half years.
- The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, surged to seven-month highs this week. A firm dollar continued to undermine precious metals, such as gold and silver.
- U.S. initial jobless claims were unchanged at 246,000 in the week ending October 8, a nearly four-decade low. However, the number of U.S. job openings fell in August to an eight-month low of 5.4 million. That’s a JOLTS rate of 3.6%, according to the Department of Labor.
- U.S. consumer credit rose to a seasonally adjusted $25.87 billion in September, up from $17.78 billion the previous month, confounding forecasts of a decline.
- In the energy markets, Baker Hughes reported that the number of active rigs drilling on U.S. soil rose for the 14th time in the past 15 weeks. Meanwhile, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels in the week ending October 7 – the first increase in six weeks. To help you navigate the volatile energy market based on information gathered from the EIA report, check out all energy equity ETFs.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told the World Energy Congress in Istanbul this week that his country was willing to join OPEC in freezing crude production. However, the head of Russia’s largest state-run oil producer later said that he had no intention to freeze production with the 14-member cartel.
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Risk Appetite Review
- The large-cap S&P 500 (SPY ) declined 1.43% over the past five days, as the combination of central bank speculation and weak earnings weighed on Wall Street.
- Equal-weighted indices (RSP ) fared no better this week. The RSP performed worse than the S&P 500, falling 1.91% over the past five days.
- The High Beta ETF (SPHB ) was by far the biggest decliner, falling 3.48% in a sign that risk aversion was creeping back into the market.
Major Index Review
- The major indices were down across the board, as rate-hike jitters and a disappointing start to earnings season brought volatility back to the equity markets.
Foreign Equity Review
- With the exception of Brazil (EWZ ), all foreign ETFs recorded sharp declines this week.
- China (FXI ) plunged 3.60% as dismal trade data offset hopes that state-owned enterprises would benefit from Beijing’s restructuring program targeting corporate debt. Check out the ETFdb Country Exposure Tool to delve into ETFs with exposure to the world’s second-largest economy.
- Meanwhile, Indian shares (EPI ) retreated with the rupee, on growing bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the coming months. Morgan Stanley also warned that India was approaching a critical “sell zone” in the near term.
- Brazil (EWZ ) posted a weekly return of 0.73%, and was up 8.58% on the month, after recently impeached Dilma Rousseff failed to make headway in the municipal elections, paving the way for a more market-friendly government.
More information on Emerging Market Equities ETFs can be found here.
- With the exception of natural gas (UNG ), every major commodity was down this week.
- Natural gas spiked 8.14%, reaching its highest level in almost two years.
- Gains in U.S. Oil (USO ) were completely flat, as investors reacted negatively to reports showing OPEC production reached a new record high in September. Nevertheless, U.S. Oil has enjoyed a monthly return of 9.53% on OPEC production-freeze optimism.
- Silver (SLV ) fell 0.54% over the previous five days. Silver is down 8.18%, on the month.
If you’re interested in more Oil & Gas ETFs, view our Definitive List of Oil & Gas ETFs.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) climbed 1.04%, to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies this week. The British pound and euro plunged, as a result.
- The British pound (FXB ) fell 1.17% in a belated response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a “hard Brexit” earlier this month. The pound is currently trading at its lowest level in history against a basket of currencies. For more information on how the British pound performed immediately after May’s comments, check out the previous ETF Scorecard: October 7 Edition.
- Meanwhile, the yen (FXY ) declined 0.55% for the week. The Asian safe-haven has fallen 1.23% over the past one month.
- The U.S. dollar was by far the strongest performer on a rolling monthly basis, gaining 2.27%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.