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 most important data this week was released last Friday.
- The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, disappointing analysts, who had expected 191,000. To investors’ luck, the figure from the prior month was revised up by 24,000 to 252,000.
- The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, stood flat at 4.1%, while average hourly earnings rose 0.3% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year. Both figures were broadly in line with estimates.
- The U.S. non-manufacturing index dropped a few points to 55.9, against 57.4 in the previous month. Analysts had expected a modest rise in sentiment to 57.6.
- Eurozone inflation stood still at 1.4% in December, ending the year well below the ECB target of 2%. Core inflation, meanwhile, disappointed analysts, coming in at 0.9% compared to forecasts of 1%.
- Crude oil reserves dropped by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended January 5, marking the eighth consecutive decrease. At the same time, gasoline stocks rose 4.1 million barrels.
- U.S. unemployment claims came in at 261,000 for the week ended January 6, below consensus forecasts of 245,000. In the prior week, claims stood at 250,000.
- U.S. Producer Price Index fell 0.1% in December compared to a rise of 0.4% in the prior week. Year-over-year, PPI stands at a healthy level of 2.6%. Core PPI fell by a similar amount month-over-month and was up 2.3% compared to the same period last year.
Risk Appetite Review
- The markets continued their rally this week.
- The S&P 500 (SPY ) advanced 1.32% in the past five days, representing the second-best performance from the pack.
- High Beta (SPHB ) was the best performer for the second consecutive week, with a rise of 2.38%.
- Low Volatility (SPLV ) reversed some of the losses registered in the previous week and was up 0.10%.
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Major Index Review
- Global markets were all up.
- Russell 2000 (IWM ) was the best performer, advancing 1.69% in the past five days on optimism about the new tax plan in the U.S.
- Emerging markets (EEM ) rose the least, just by 0.45%, as many countries were in sell-off mode due to rising bond yields across the board. China was the only emerging market that bucked the trend. (EEM ), however, was the best monthly performer with a staggering advance of 7.22%, thanks to rising commodity prices.
- The S&P 500 (SPY ) was the worst monthly performer, posting gains of 3.50%.
To see how these indices performed a week before last, check out the ETF Scorecard: January 5 Edition.
- In a rare feat, industrial shares (XLI ) were the best performers for the week with an advance of 2.54%, helped by positive news from Delta Air Lines (DAL), which boosted earnings guidance thanks to the new tax law.
- The real estate sector (XLRE ), meanwhile, was the worst weekly performer with a drop of 2.63%.
- Energy stocks (XLE ) were up as much as 10.2% for the rolling month, representing the best performance from the pack.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities were all up with the exception of Germany.
- Buoyed by strong oil prices, Russia (RSX ) advanced 2.80% this week, beating its counterparts.
- Germany (EWG ) was the only faller from the pack – down 0.50% due to a rising euro and a hawkish European Central Bank. (EWG ) is also the worst monthly performer, rising only 3.30%.
- Brazil (EWZ ) is the best performer for the rolling month, with an impressive advance of 12.24%.
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- Commodities posted mixed performances.
- Natural gas (UNG ) was by far the best performer this week, surging nearly 11% thanks to rising demand for heating fuel as the U.S. experienced record-low temperatures last week.
- Agricultural commodities (DBA ) suffered a decline of 1.5% this week, representing the worst performance. As a result of the fall, (DBA ) was also the worst monthly performer with a rise of 1.9%.
- Up 9.11%, oil (USO ) beat all its commodity peers by a few basis points on a monthly basis.
- The Japanese yen (FXY ) surged 1.82% this week, as Bank of Japan decided to trim its asset purchase program.
- The British pound (FXB ) posted the worst performance from the pack, dropping 0.15% for the week.
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