Below is a look at the performance of various asset classes using key ETFs traded on US exchanges.  For each ETF, we show its performance last week, for the month of July, and year-to-date through the end of July.  The S&P 500 (SPY) ETF rallied 3.65% in July to finish the month up 6.5% on a year-to-date basis.  The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) rallied 7.15%, but is only up 3.01% YTD.  Looking at the ten sectors, Technology (XLK) had by far the best July with a gain of 7.1%.  Materials (XLB) was the next best sector in July at +5.07%.  Three sectors actually fell in July even with the S&P 500 as a whole up 3.65%.  Consumer Staples (XLP) and Utilities (XLU) were both down less than 1%, while Energy (XLE) was down 1.26%.

Outside of the US, countries like Australia (EWA), Brazil (EWZ), Germany (EWG), Hong Kong (EWH) and India (PIN) all saw huge gains in July.  Brazil (EWZ) just keeps on running, and it enters August up 60.74% year-to-date.  While commodities like natural gas (UNG), gold (GLD) and silver (SLV) all saw big gains in the final week of July, oil (USO) continued to sell off — finishing the month down 15.64%.  That puts USO back solidly in the red for the year with a decline of 11.27%.

Now, on to August…

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