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.
- As vacation season is in full swing, the markets could not be more rattled.
- An ongoing diplomatic rift between the U.S. and Turkey regarding several matters, including the detention in Turkey of a U.S. evangelical pastor, has contributed to a plunge of the lira against the dollar. As some of Europe’s banks have heavy exposure to the region, the euro suffered a blow.
- In the U.S., the employment figures for July slightly disappointed, with the economy adding 157,000 jobs compared to a revised 248,000 in the prior month. Pundits had expected 191,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% from 4% previously, in line with expectations.
- Average hourly earnings increased by 0.3% month-over-month, compared with a rise of 0.1% in June. Year-over-year, wages are up 2.7% on average, same as in the prior month.
- U.S. non-manufacturing PMI unexpectedly dropped from 59.1 to 55.7 in July, reaching a one-year low.
- China’s trade surplus narrowed dramatically in July due to an increase in imports and an ongoing trade war with the U.S. China’s surplus was $28 billion compared to $41 billion in the prior month. Analysts had expected a surplus of $39 billion.
- Crude oil inventories have whipsawed this summer. For the week ended August 3, stockpiles dropped by 1.4 million barrels, less than analysts had expected. The drop comes after a gain of 3.8 million barrels in the prior week.
- U.S. unemployment claims came in at 213,000 for the week ended August 4, 6,000 lower compared to the prior week.
Risk Appetite Review
- The stock market reversed to gains this week, although they were not uniform as rising geopolitical tensions hit some regions harder than others.
- The broad market (SPY ) was the best performer for the week with an advance of 0.90%.
- High Beta (SPHB ) reported gains of 0.45%, the lowest from the pack.
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Major Index Review
- Major indexes were all up.
- Technology equities (QQQ ) are again in front of the performance table, edging up 1.17% for the week.
- Emerging markets (EEM ), meanwhile, posted the smallest gains, up 0.25%, as a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the U.S. and trade tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on investor sentiment.
- For the rolling month, Dow Jones (DIA ) is the best performer with a rise of 2.67%, as it benefited from a string of solid financial results for the second quarter.
- The small-cap index (IWM ) was the worst performer for the past 30 days, dropping by 0.93%.
To see how these indices performed a week before last, check out ETF Scorecard: August 3 Edition
- Sectors posted mixed performance.
- Hit by falling oil prices, the energy sector (XLE ) is the worst performer for the week with a drop of 0.87%. (XLE ) is also by far the worst performer for the rolling month with a decline of 3.16%.
- Consumer discretionary (XLY ) marginally clinched the status of best performer from the telecom sector (XTL ), gaining 1.76%. Both sectors were in recovery mode after suffering from tough environments.
- Utilities (XLU ) are surprisingly the best performers for the rolling month, up 4.27%.
Foreign Equity Review
- Foreign equities were mixed.
- Russian equities (RSX ) have finally tumbled after weeks of resilience. The U.S. has imposed a new set of sanctions on Russia, in a surprise move that came shortly after President Donald Trump met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Further hitting the Russian stock market, oil prices took a dive this week. (RSX ) is the worst performer both for the week and the rolling month, down 4.52% and 8.57%, respectively.
- Chinese stocks (FXI ) have advanced more than 3% this week, as investors cheered Beijing’s stimulus measures in the face of a trade war with the U.S.
- Despite dropping this week consistently, the Brazilian stock market (EWZ ) remains the best performer for the rolling month, up 5.36%.
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- Commodities were mixed.
- Crude oil (USO ) has fallen 3% this week as investors expect demand to take a hit from the trade war between the U.S. and China. (USO ) is also the worst performer for the rolling month with a decline of more than 8%.
- Natural gas (UNG ), meanwhile, is the best performer both for the week and the rolling month, up 3.77% and 5.72%, respectively.
- Currencies posted mixed results.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) has appreciated 0.44% this week, extending monthly gains to 1.61%. The best performer both for the week and the rolling month, the greenback benefited from a strong domestic economy and relative weakness in other currencies, including the euro and the British pound.
- The British pound (FXB ) is the worst performer both for the week and the rolling month, down 1.28% and 3.33%, respectively, as fears of a no-Brexit deal are intensifying.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.