The S&P 500 is down 20.8% on a YTD basis, which is worse than all of the international indices we looked at apart from the DAX (German stock market index) and ITLMS (Italy stock market index). Although the YTD performance is weak relative to other countries, performance relative to pre-COVID levels is still elevated, so long-term investors have been rewarded by investing in the US.  Relative to mid February of 2020 just before COVID hit the West, the S&P 500 ranks third out of the 12 indices we looked at, falling short of just Argentina (Merval) and Chile (IGPA). Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.

Of the 12 international indices, eight are down relative to pre-COVID levels. The biggest decliners have been Hong Kong (Hang Seng), Spain (IBEX 35) and Italy (ITLMS). The charts below show the five year performance of each international index that we looked at (and the S&P 500). As you can see, five year returns are now negative for the DAX, the Hang Seng, the FTSE Italia, the IBEX 35 and the FTSE 100. So much for the benefits of international diversification!

International Stocks Foreign Stocks Global Stock Market

The table below summarizes each index’s performance over the last five years, relative to pre-COVID levels, and on a YTD basis. Much of the differentiation in performance can be attributed to the means of each respective economy. For example, Argentina and Chile largely export materials, making the economies highly correlated to price moves in commodities. On the other hand, Western nations tend to have a healthy mix of industrial products, commodities and services.  Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.

International Equities

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