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 signed a bill to reopen the government for three weeks without obtaining a concession on his key demand for funding a wall along the Mexican border.
- At the World Economic Forum in Davos, policymakers and the world’s business elites signaled worries about the increasingly powerful technology firms and there was a consensus on the need for global regulation. At the same time, the broad feeling was that no one knew where the monetary policy should head next, with the global economy experiencing a slowdown. The sentiment towards China also was more chilled than previously.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve made a weird U-turn on monetary policy guidance, implying that the next move in interest rates could either be up or down. This marks an abrupt departure from previous guidance when the Fed indicated that another two raises were likely this year. That scenario now appears to be history.
- U.S. consumer confidence dropped to 120 in January from 126.6 in the previous month, according to the Conference Board. Analysts had expected a decline to 125.
- Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has fallen deeper into contraction territory in February, coming in at 48.3 compared with 49.7 in the prior month. Last time the PMI fell to such low levels was in March 2016.
- U.S. unemployment claims surged to 253,000 for the week ended January 26, largely due to the government shutdown, which left many government employees without current income.
- According to ADP, the U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in January compared with 263,000 in the prior month. Analysts had forecasted 180,000 jobs.
Risk Appetite Review
- Markets rallied again this week, as investors cheered the Federal Reserve’s pause in hiking interest rates.
- Risk assets (SPHB ) increased the most this week, by 3.91%.
- Meanwhile, the broad market fund (SPY ) was the worst performer with an increase of just 2.55%.
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Major Index Review
- Major indexes were all up.
- Dow Jones (DIA ) staged gains of 1.89%, the weakest performance from the pack.
- Emerging markets (EEM ) was boosted by a weak dollar and optimism that the U.S. and China will reach a trade agreement. (EEM ) is up 4.41% for the past five days.
- Small-cap stocks (IWM ) is the strongest performer for the past 30 days, advancing 12.78%, while the European and Australasians equities fund (EFA ) is the worst performer, up a little over 8%.
To see how these indices performed over the past year, check out ETF Scorecard: January 25 Edition.
- All sectors were up.
- Financials (XLF ) gained the least this week, as the Fed’s rate-hiking pause is likely to hurt the sector’s profitability. (XLF ) is up just 1.17% for the past five days.
- Meanwhile, the real estate sector (XLRE ) may benefit from lower interest rates, and, as a result, is the best performer, up 5.40%.
- For the rolling month the picture was rather mixed, with industrials (XLI ) and the energy sector (XLE ) both up more than 13%.
- Utilities (XLU ) advanced just 3.89% over the past 30 days, representing the worst performance.
Use our Head-to-Head Comparison tool to compare two ETFs such as (XLU ) and (XLRE ) on a variety of criteria such as performance, AUM, trading volume and expenses.
Foreign Equity Review
- Chinese shares (FXI ) is the best performer for the week, up nearly 5% as the country benefited from the Fed’s pause in interest rate hikes and optimism about China-U.S. trade talks.
- India (EPI ) was the only faller for the week and the rolling month, down 0.62% and 1.19%, respectively.
- Brazilian stocks (EWZ ) remain the best performer for the rolling month, up 16.51%.
To find out more about ETFs exposed to particular countries, check out our ETF Country Exposure tool. Select a particular country from a world map and get a list of all ETFs tracking your pick.
- Commodities posted mixed results.
- Natural gas (UNG ) slumped 5.5% for the past five days, despite cold weather in many parts of the U.S.
- Silver (SLV ) advanced 4.51% last week, representing by far the best performance from the pack.
- The euro (FXE ) lost 1.37% this week, the weakest performance from the bunch.
- The Australian dollar (FXA ) surged 2.29% on optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China. (FXA ) is also the best performer for the rolling month, up more than 4%.
- The U.S. dollar (UUP ) was the only currency that declined for the rolling month, down 1%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.