Below is a look at the recent performance across asset classes using key ETFs traded on US exchanges. All performance numbers represent total returns. The S&P 500 (SPY) gained 6.98% in August, but the Dow (DIA) and the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) did even better with gains of 7.77% and 10.94%, respectively. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has been the biggest winner by far across global index ETFs. It’s up 39.23% year-to-date and 73.29% since the March 23rd low made after the COVID Crash.
While everything is up off the March lows, there is wide performance disparity on a year-to-date basis across sectors, size, and themes like value and growth. Large-cap ETFs are now up solidly on the year, while small-cap ETFs like IWM and IJR are still in the red. Mid-cap value (IJJ), small-cap value (IJS), and the Dow Jones Dividend ETF (DVY) are all still down 15%+ on the year.
Looking at sectors, we saw Technology (XLK), Consumer Discretionary (XLY), Industrials (XLI), and Communication Services (XLC) gain 8%+ in August, while Utilities (XLU) and Energy (XLE) both declined during the month. Year-to-date, Tech (XLK) is up 35.9% while Energy (XLE) is down 38.4%.
Outside of the US, every country ETF tracked in our matrix was up in August with the exception of Brazil (EWZ), which actually fell 8.4%. Year-to-date, EWZ is still down 36.4%, while countries like Italy (EWI), Mexico (EWW), Spain (EWP), and the UK (EWU) are down double-digit percentage points as well. Germany (EWG) is the one European country in our matrix that’s up on the year. China (ASHR) is up 19.23%, which is 10 percentage points better than the S&P 500 (SPY).
Commodities have been all over the map in 2020, with the oil ETF (USO) down 70% YTD while silver (SLV) is up 57%. The natural gas ETF (UNG) had a banner August with a gain of nearly 38%, but it’s still down 16% YTD.
Fixed-income ETFs had a rough August as interest rates moved higher, but across the duration spectrum, Treasury ETFs are still up solidly on the year. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.