Below is our total return ETF matrix highlighting the performance of various asset classes from the perspective of a US investor.
With a solid end to the week on Friday, US equities finished the week with across the board gains as all of the major averages with the exception of the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) finished in the green. Don’t feel too bad for the Nasdaq, though, as it is still up nearly 2% MTD and over 15% on the year. The biggest laggard of the major US index ETFs on a YTD basis has been the Dow (DIA) with its YTD gain of 5.06%, and that’s after taking into account its leading 1.48% gain last week.
On a sector by sector basis, defensive stocks led the way higher as Consumer Staples (XLP), Telecom Services (IYZ), and Utilities (XLU) all had gains of close to 3% or more. On the downside, commodities related stocks took it on the chin with Energy (XLE) falling over 3.5% and Materials (XLB) dropping 0.43%.
Outside of the US, it was a rough week for global equities. Italy (EWI) was the biggest decliner with a drop of 3%, which brings its MTD decline to more than 10%. Not far behind Italy, though, Russia (RSX) is down over 9% even after rising more than 1% last week, while Brazil (EWZ) and China (ASHR) are both down more than 7%. On the year, China is down over 21% and Brazil is down more than 16%. Just to illustrate how bad a year it has been for international equities from the perspective of a US investor, the only two countries we track in the matrix that are up on the year are Australia (EWA), which was actually down heading into the week, and Mexico (EWW).
In the commodities sector, outside of Natural Gas (UNG), all of the commodities ETFs we track were down on the week (hence the weakness in Energy and Materials sectors).
Finally, we saw marginal gains in fixed income, with slightly more strength at the longer end of the curve as 20+ year Treasuries were up 0.27%.