We are now four weeks and one day away from Election Day 2020.  Below is a look at our asset class performance matrix highlighting the total return of key ETFs over three time frames: since Election Day 2016 (11/8/16), since Trump took office on 1/20/17, and since the first US case of COVID was confirmed (1/20/20).

The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) has been by far the best performing US index ETF this Presidential Election Cycle.  Since Election Day 2016, QQQ is up 146%, while the S&P 500 (SPY) is up 70.7% and the Russell 2,000 (IWM) is up 38.5%.  Looking at US sectors, Technology (XLK) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY) are both up 100%+ since Election Day 2016, while the Energy sector (XLE) is down 48%.  The Financial sector (XLF) has been the second worst performer under Trump with a gain of 33.9%.

International equity market returns (on a dollar adjusted basis) have been much weaker than the US since Trump’s victory.  Country returns since Election Day 2016 range from double-digit percentage declines for Brazil (EWZ) and Mexico (EWW) to a 45.4% gain for China (ASHR).  China’s gain, however, is still 25 percentage points worse than the S&P 500.

What may be more notable are equity market returns since COVID began.  Since the first US case of COVID was confirmed on January 20th, the S&P 500 (SPY) has still managed to post a 3.4% gain.  The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is up a remarkable 25.3% during the pandemic, while the small-cap Russell 2,000 (IWM) is down 6.8%.  Value stock ETFs have also gotten hit hard during COVID, while growth has outperformed.

Looking at sectors, Energy (XLE), Financials (XLF), Utilities (XLU), and Industrials (XLI) are the sectors that remain in the red since COVID, while Tech (XLK) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY) are up 17%+.  Gold (GLD) and silver (SLV) have also been two of the top performers during COVID along with longer-dated Treasury ETFs like TLT.  Click here to try Bespoke Premium free for two weeks!

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