Below is our asset class performance matrix for August now that the month is over. The left side of the matrix contains mostly US equity ETFs, while the right side contains international equity ETFs, commodity ETFs, and fixed income ETFs. For each ETF, we show its performance in August, quarter to date, and year to date.
The S&P 500-tracking SPY ETF ended up 12 basis points in August. The first half of the month saw gains that ended up getting erased in the second half. The Dow 30 ETF (DIA) ended up down 10 basis points, while the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ) gained 1.05%. Quarter-to-date, QQQ is up 8.28%, which is one of the top performers in the entire matrix.
Small-caps outperformed large-caps and mid-caps in August, while growth outperformed value. Dividend stocks underperformed. Looking at US sectors, the Financial ETF (XLF) gained by far the most in August at +3.85%. The Energy ETF (XLE) was up the second-most at +1.68%. Telecom (IYZ) and Utilities (XLU) — high dividend paying sectors — both fell more than 5%. These two sectors are down the most quarter-to-date as well, but they’re still up more than 10% YTD.
Outside of the US, Australia (EWA) fell the most in August, while China (ASHR) rallied 3.54%. Brazil (EWZ) ended the month with only a small gain of 0.84%, but it’s up by far the most YTD at +62.09%. Italy (EWI) remains down the most YTD at -17.83%.
Oil (USO) was up 6.15% in August even after falling sharply at month end. Silver (SLV) was down more than any other ETF in August with a decline of 8.42%. Treasury ETFs fell in August as well but are still up year-to-date across the board.