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.
- U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement to cut global emissions, marking a further divide between America and its allies. Almost all countries were unanimous in condemning Trump’s action while pledging to stick by the Agreement. Trump said the current accord is unfair to the United States and that he will try to renegotiate it, although many world leaders said the deal cannot be changed. The withdrawal will take about three years to unfold, meaning Trump can backtrack on the decision.
- U.S. first-quarter GDP growth was revised up to 1.2% from 0.7% previously, beating consensus estimates of 0.8%. The growth was primarily driven by an increase in consumer spending.
- U.S. durable goods orders fell 0.7% month-over-month, although they were up 0.9% compared to last year. New orders less transportation items registered a 0.4% fall in April, compared to last month, and an impressive rise of 4.9% year-over-year.
- European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi clearly signaled that Europe still needs an extraordinary amount of monetary support, suggesting the stimulus program will not be reined in soon. Draghi’s comments come as the European economy has shown signs of improvement and inflation has begun ticking up.
- The U.S. consumer woke up in April. Consumer spending increased 0.4% compared to March, as personal income grew by the same amount. Wages and salaries crept up an impressive 0.7%.
- European inflation slowed considerably in May to 1.4% from 1.9% in the previous month, due to significant dips in Germany and Spain. The disappointing figures may embolden dovish policymakers to make a case for keeping the unprecedented monetary stimulus on hold. Core inflation stood at 0.9% in May, compared to estimates of 1%.
- U.S. unemployment claims rose to 248,000 in the week ended May 27, higher than estimates of 239,000. In the prior week, jobless claims came in at 234,000.
- ADP said the U.S. economy added 253,000 jobs in May, beating consensus forecasts of 170,000.
- Crude oil inventories have continued their downward slide in the May 26 week, dropping 6.4 million barrels. This is by far the largest fall since the eight-week losing streak began in mid-April.
Risk Appetite Review
- Low Volatility (SPLV ) has again been the best performer this week, rising 1.21%.
- The broad market (SPY ) was up 0.75%, representing the second-worst performance from the pack.
- High Beta (SPHB ) again posted the poorest performance, advancing just 0.33%
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Major Index Review
- Global equities were almost all up this week.
- Small-cap stocks have led the gains, with the iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM ) jumping 1.14%, after months of weakness. Indeed, lagging performance in the previous weeks made the index the worst-performing asset for the rolling month, down 0.74%.
- Emerging markets was the only asset this week that fell, although just slightly. The 0.29% drop in the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index (EEM ) was prompted by falling oil and gas prices, as well as a political debacle in Brazil.
- For the rolling month, iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA ), an index containing European, Asian and Australian equities, was the best performer, edging up 3.49% largely on the strong performance in Europe of late.
- To see how these indices performed last week, check out ETF Scorecard: May 26 Edition.
- Sectors were mixed.
- The telecom industry posted the best gains this week, with (XTL ) surging 2.71%.
- The volatile energy sector (XLE ) was again the worst performer this week, with a 0.98% drop, primarily driven by natural gas and crude oil losses.
- After two weeks of strong gains, utilities (XLU ) has become the best performer for the rolling month, up 5.38%.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities were mixed.
- Japanese equities (EWJ ) posted strong gains last week thanks to an accelerating economy. (EWJ ) was the best performer, ticking up 1.40%.
- Russia (RSX ) has plunged 2.97% since last Thursday, as oil and natural gas continued to head downward. (RSX ) was within a whisker of becoming the worst monthly performer.
- Chinese stocks (FXI ) advanced the most for the rolling month, as much as 5.36%, despite a debt downgrade from Moody’s.
- Brazilian equities (EWZ ) were in recovery mode, but they are still far from recouping losses registered following a bribery scandal involving President Michel Temer. (EWZ ) was the worst performer for the rolling month, tumbling 7.13%.
- 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.
- The commodities’ pack was again impacted by oil and natural gas volatility.
- Natural gas (UNG ) was the clear loser both for the week and the rolling month, dropping 7.66% and 8.03%, respectively, due to rising supplies. U.S. inventories rose 81 billion cubic feet for the May 26 week, disappointing analysts, who had expected a rise of 74 billion.
- Copper (JJC ) was the best weekly performer, rising nearly 1%, while silver (SLV ) rose the most for the rolling month, up 2.57%.
- Currencies were mixed.
- Europe’s single currency (FXE ) continues to impress and became the second-best performer of the week, despite dovish signals from ECB President Mario Draghi. The euro came off as the best performer for the rolling month, gaining 2.72%.
- The Australian dollar (FXA ) continued its losing streak this week, tumbling 1.02% on bad economic data in China and falling iron ore prices. The currency is also the worst performer for the rolling month, down 1.90%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.