With the third quarter coming to an end today, below is a look at our asset class performance matrix using key ETFs traded on US exchanges.  This is a great way to quickly see how various asset classes are performing on a total return basis.  For each ETF shown, we provide its total return for the month of September, the third quarter of 2017, and year-to-date 2017.

Notably, the areas of the market that were performing best on a year-to-date basis mostly underperformed in September, while the worst performing areas of the market this year saw the biggest bounces in September.  The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is ending September on a strong note, but it’s still slightly down on the month.  Even still, QQQ is the top performing US equity index ETF on the year with a gain of 23.56%.

Small caps had been weak compared to large caps heading into September, but they’ve soared this month.  The S&P Smalllcap 600 ETF (IJR) is up 7.89% on the month, while the S&P 500 (SPY) is up 1.96%.

On a sector basis, Energy (XLE) saw by far the biggest gains at +10.08% in September.  Even with the 10% gain, though, XLE is still down 6.79% year-to-date.  Financials (XLF), Industrials (XLI), and Materials (XLB) were the next best performing sectors during the month.  On the weak side, Telecom (IYZ) and Utilities (XLU) both fell 2%+, while the two consumer sectors, Technology, and Health Care were flat.

Outside of the US, we actually saw weakness in China (ASHR), Hong Kong (EWH), India (PIN), and Mexico (EWW) in September.  But areas like Brazil (EWZ), Canada (EWC), France (EWQ), Germany (EWG), and Russia (RSX) saw big gains.  Italy (EWI) is now the best performing country in our screen on a year-to-date basis with a gain of 31.64%.

While the emerging markets ETF (EEM) is up 28.46% YTD and 8.15% in the third quarter, it’s actually slightly down in September.

Finally, while oil (USO) gained 8% on the month, other commodities like natural gas (UNG), gold (GLD), and silver (SLV) were in the red.  Fixed income ETFs also fell slightly, but they’re still up year-to-date across the board.

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