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.
- On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order to reverse six Obama-era initiatives on climate change. The order will review the Clean Power Plan and reverse the moratorium on coal mining and other environmental & climate-improving policies. The order is supposed to reduce the government’s enforcement of climate regulations, putting American jobs ahead of the climate change issues the country currently faces. The market reacted well to the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up over 150 points or 0.73% higher.
- Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan spoke on Thursday saying he believes the Fed will raise rates two more times during 2017. This matches what most analysts and other Fed members have indicated, based on steady economic data for the rest of the year.
- U.S. GDP data was released on Thursday and came in slightly higher than expected at 2.1% on a quarter-over-quarter basis. This is an increase over last quarter’s 1.9% measure and higher than the consensus estimate of 2.0%. A bump up in consumer spending, which is up 3.5% since last quarter, was one of the reasons behind this.
- Consumer confidence was reported on Tuesday at a level of 125.6, which is the highest level since December 2000. This is significantly above the consensus estimate of 113.8 and shows strong consumer confidence because of an improving job market, bullish stock market and rising real estate prices.
- U.S. jobless claims data showed a moderate decline of 3,000 jobs this week, bringing the total claim amount to 258,000. This surpassed the consensus estimate of 247,000 and brings the four-week average to 254,250. Even though the recent measures have been higher than last month’s all-time lows, the job market still shows signs of strength.
- Oil prices increased this week after the EIA reported that inventories rose 867,000 barrels last week, which was nearly half the expected amount. The price was also supported by a reduction of 250,000 per day by Libya’s National Oil Corp. This was caused by a blockade of armed protestors in the company’s Sharara and Wafa oil fields. As a result, oil prices rose over 2% on Wednesday and over 5% for the week.
- On Wednesday, British Prime Minister May triggered Article 50, starting the two-year process of Britain’s departure from the European Union. Since the announcement in mid-2016, the sterling has plummeted 11% against the U.S. dollar and has continued to see its lowest levels since 1985.
Risk Appetite Review
- The High Beta (SPHB A) was the week’s best performer, having a stellar increase of 2.79% and closing at $37.63
- The Low Volatility (SPLV B-) was the worst performer of the week and was the only negative of the bunch, down -0.32%.
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Major Index Review
- Global equities were on the positive side overall, except for emerging markets.
- The Russell 2000 Index (IWM A-) was the week’s biggest gainer, up 1.71%. However, this is still the worst-performing index for the month, being down -1.52%.
- Emerging Markets (EEM A-) was the week’s only declining index, falling by a slight -0.03%. However, for the rolling 1-month, it’s still the best performer of the lot, up 3.52%. To see how EEM performed last week, check out ETF Scorecard: March 17 Edition.
Foreign Equity Review
- All foreign equities were positive this week, except China.
- Brazil (EWZ B+) was the best-performing foreign equity for the week. The Brazilian index was up 1.57% for the week, but remains down -2.75% for the last month.
- India (EPI B+) was the second-best performer this week, up 1.52%, while remaining the leader in the rolling 1-month return with 5.65%.
- China (FXI B+) was this week’s worst performer and the only negative performer. The Chinese index was down -0.92% for the week.
- To find out more about ETFs exposed to particular countries, check our ETF Country Exposure tool. Select a particular country from a world map and get a list of all ETFs tracking your pick.
- Commodities were all up for the week, with the exception of gold and agriculture. For a full list of all commodity ETFs, click here.
- Oil (USO A-) was the best-performing commodity, up 5.17%. However, it remains negative on the rolling 1-month return, with a -6.95%.
- Natural gas (UNG B-) had a moderate return of 1.47% for the week, but is still the best performing commodity on a 1-month basis, up 14.87%.
- Agriculture (DBA A-) was the week’s worst performer, down 1.94%.
- Currencies were a mixed bag this week, with the biggest news focused on the beginning of Brexit. . For a list of all currency ETFs, click here.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP A) was the week’s best-performing currency, up 0.85%. However, it also has a negative 1-month rolling return of -0.46%.
- Emerging market currencies (CEW A) was up slightly for the week, with a positive 0.22% return, and remains the best 1-month rolling performer, up 1.60%.
- British pound (FXB A) was flat for the week, down -0.02%. This is good news considering Brexit with Article 50 starting on Wednesday.
- The euro (FXE A) was the week’s worst-performing currency, down -1.14%.