Bullish pressures quietly persisted on Wall Street this past week as major equity indexes inched higher amid low trading volumes. Throughout the week, investors digested a slew of earnings from big-name tech stocks, including upbeat results from Netflix and Apple; on the economic front, results were mixed, including a big miss in new home sales data along with better-than-expected durable goods orders. Rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia permeated headlines on Thursday, making investors wary of the potential drama that could arise over the weekend.
To help investors keep up with markets, we present our ETF Scorecard, which takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. For most of the return comparisons below, we reference trailing 1-week as well as trailing 1-month returns; this offers a good insight into the prevailing sentiment in the markets by capturing the performance across a short-term as well as longer-term time interval [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].Risk Appetite Review
Investors’ risk appetite grew as the rebound from last week spilled over, and riskier securities maintained their lead over their lower-volatility counterparts from the week prior.Major Index Review
The tech-heavy Nasdaq took the lead this past week as bargain shoppers bought up many beat down internet and biotechnology names while others locked in profits in Emerging Markets, which remain a leader in terms of trailing monthly returns.Domestic Sector Review
For the most part, U.S. sector ETFs advanced higher over the past week, pulling all but one of the trailing monthly returns into positive territory; health care is the laggard here while energy remains the leader by far when considering monthly returns.
In terms of valuations, the financial and energy sectors are most undervalued in relative terms, while the discretionary sector is by far the most overvalued from the group.Foreign Equity Review
The BRIC countries pumped the brakes this week after rallying for the past two; Russia was by far the worst performer, as escalating tensions in Ukraine prompted many to take profits from the ETF ahead of the weekend.
In terms of valuations, Emerging European equities are the most undervalued in relative terms, while domestic equities are the “most expensive” from the group.Fixed-Income Review
Bond yields across the board inched slightly lower as investors moved into some areas of the fixed income market as volatility permeated the equity market towards the end of the week.Alternatives Review
In the commodity space, copper prices posted the biggest gain while precious metals were fairly flat; the biggest losers were energy, with oil prices shedding just a bit more than natural gas prices.
The Aussie dollar was the biggest loser this week as investors scaled back their risk appetites in the currency market while falling gold prices only added to the selling pressures plaguing this commodity currency.
*All data as of market close 4/24/2014.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.