Looking across various investing style ETFs in our Chart Scanner tool, small-cap focused ETFs have significantly lagged mid-cap and large-cap ETFs of similar styles this year. Whereas most of the ETFs are either above or near last year’s highs/all-time highs, small caps are still well below. Starting with a look at dividend-focused ETFs, the small-cap version (DES) surged in the first few months of the year, briefly taking out the lower highs from Q4 2018, but has failed to move considerably higher since. In the past month, DES has been trading in a tight range between the two lower highs from Q4. Conversely, the broader Select Dividend ETF (DVY)—as well as other dividend ETFs like the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), and the MidCap Dividend fund (DON)—has seen a more consistent uptrend, distinctively breaking out above last year’s highs.
Earnings focused funds are seeing similar price action. The SmallCap Earnings Fund (EES) is well off of prior highs, stuck between highs from earlier this year and lower highs from late last year like DES. The MidCap Earnings Fund (EZM) has managed to get much closer to its prior highs, but it has in fact been trading sideways right under a range from late last summer. This is while the Total Earnings Fund (EXT) is just below highs from last year. So even while no earnings focused funds have taken out last year’s highs, those that are not small cap focused have performed better.
Even when it comes to growth and value it is the same story. The Small Cap version of growth (IJR) and value (IJS) have both been stuck under lower highs that were established during last year’s sell-off. In recent weeks both IJR and IJS have been trading right in between the upward trending 50-DMA and 200-DMAs that are in downtrends. In the past week each one has begun to push above these 200-DMAs but not in any distinct breakout. Meanwhile, other value and growth ETFs, the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV) and Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG), have been in strong, uninterrupted uptrends right up to new highs. All in all, when it comes to style, market cap has seemed to have played a greater role than other factors. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Premium to access our interactive Chart Scanner and much more.