Below is a look at total returns in Q1 2020 across asset classes using key ETFs that we track closely on a daily basis. For each ETF, we show its return in March, since the 2/19 all-time closing high for the S&P 500, and for the full first quarter of the year.
Looking at US equity index ETFs at the end of March, the S&P 500 (SPY) was down 12.46% on the month, 23.35% since the 2/19 all-time high, and 19.43% year-to-date. The Dow 30 (DIA) was down slightly more than SPY over all three time frames, while the Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) was down much less in both March (-7.3%) and in the first quarter (-10.3%).
Small-caps and mid-caps have both been hit harder than large-caps, while growth outperformed value by a wide margin.
Looking at US sectors, Technology (XLK) was down the least in Q1 at -11.9%, while Energy (XLE) was down the most at -50%. The Financials sector (XLF) was down the 2nd most in Q1 with a drop of 31.8%.
Outside of the US, the hardest hit country ETFs in both March and the first quarter were Brazil (EWZ) and Mexico (EWW). Brazil was down 38.6% in March and 50% in the first quarter. Mexico was down 31.9% in March and 37% in Q1. The commodities ETF (DBC) was down 29.5% in Q1, but the oil ETF (USO) was down 67% while the gold ETF (GLD) was up 3.6%.
Treasury ETFs were up in March, with longer duration up the most. The 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TLT) was up 6.38% in March and up 22% in Q1. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Premium to see our list of “Stocks for the COVID Economy.”