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.
- The U.S. job market has continued to tighten this month, with the jobless rate falling to 4.1% from 4.2% previously. The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, fewer than the 300,000 expected by analysts, although the figures for the previous two months were revised up by 90,000.
- Still representing a conundrum for the Federal Reserve, average hourly earnings stood flat in October, compared with a 0.2% increase forecasted by economists. In the previous month, hourly earnings rose 0.5% on the back of impacts from the hurricanes.
- U.S. non-manufacturing PMI shot up to 60.1 in October from 59.8, beating grim analysts’ expectations of 58.5.
- Chinese trade surplus increased in October to 254 billion yuan from 193 billion in the previous month, but the advance was smaller than expected by analysts. China’s trade surplus with the U.S. continued to widen in October to as much as $223 billion for the first ten months of the year, with the news emerging just ahead of President Donald Trump’s two-day visit in Asia, including South Korea and Beijing. Trump said that the U.S. deficit with China was unfair, but pinned the blame on past U.S. administrations instead of the Chinese themselves.
- Crude oil inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels in the November 3rd week, marking a rare advance. Economists had expected a drop of 2.5 million barrels, in line with figures for the previous week.
- U.S. unemployment claims came in at 239,000 for the week ended November 4, representing a rise of 10,000 compared to the previous week. The negative effects of the hurricanes have worn off and positive trajectory has resumed.
- Saudi Arabia made the headlines this week, with the unexpected arrests of many members of the royal family on corruption charges. Information about the arrests is scarce and opinions are divided on what is to be expected next. Some argue that this is part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s goal of modernizing the economy, given that he’s already planning an initial public offering for state oil company Saudi Aramco, while others contend it is nothing than a consolidation of power.
Risk Appetite Review
- Low volatility stocks were in demand this week, with (SPLV ) advancing 0.41%.
- Investors shunned riskier assets with High Beta (SPHB ) declining 0.37%.
- The broad market (SPY ) advanced a tepid 0.16% this week.
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Major Index Review
- Technology stocks were the most-liked assets this week, with (QQQ ) jumping 0.85%. The sector was boosted by Apple (AAPL), which surprised investors after its latest released iPhones experienced high demand. (QQQ ) is also the best performer for the rolling month, with a rise of 3.86%.
- Russell 2000 (IWM ) is the worst performer both for the week and the rolling month, down 1.21% and 2.17%, respectively. Investors were likely disappointed by the fact that GOP Senate members proposed a tax plan that is different than the one making its way in the House of Representatives.
- To see how these indices performed last week, check out ETF Scorecard: November 3 Edition.
- The real estate sector (XLRE ) is the winner this week, surging 3.81%.
- For the rolling month, the technology sector (XLK ) is the best performer, jumping by 5.32%, largely thanks to the positive Apple effect.
- The financial sector (XLF ) was down 2.39% for the week, as investors were disappointed by the tax plan proposed by the Senate Republicans.
- For the rolling month, the telecom sector (XTL ) posted the worst losses, down 7.84%, as a merger collapse between heavyweights T-Mobile (PCS) and Sprint disappointed investors.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities were mixed.
- Russia (RSX ) advanced nearly 2% in the week through Thursday, posting the best performance, largely because of rising oil prices.
- India (EPI ) dropped 2.23% this week, as the country’s capital city is battling with an unprecedented smog crisis, which investors fear will weigh on prospering economic activity in the region.
- Japan (EWJ ) is the best performer for the rolling month, surging 5.44%.
- Meanwhile, Brazil dropped a dramatic 7.41% during the month, as investor fears have grown that the country’s economic reforms will be sapped by an ongoing corruption probe.
- 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 mixed.
- Natural gas (UNG ) was the king this week, skyrocketing 7.86%.
- Unsurprisingly, oil (USO ) was the best performer for the rolling month, posting gains of 12.35%. The black commodity benefited from signs that OPEC and Russia will extend a deal to cut supply. An ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which threatens to disrupt supplies, has also weighed positively on the prices.
- Copper (JJC ) is the worst weekly performer with a drop of 1.78%, while silver (SLV ) posted the worst losses of the month as it dropped 0.99%.
- Currency volatility was limited this week.
- The Japanese yen (FXY ) is the best performer for the week, although its advance was tepid – up 0.55%.
- Emerging currencies (CEW ) posted a slight fall of 0.48% since last Thursday.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) is the only gainer for the rolling month, rising 1.28%.
- Finally, the euro (FXE ) is the worst performer for the rolling month, down 1.31%.
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