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ETF Scorecard: February 16 Edition

To help investors keep up with the markets, we present our ETF Scorecard. The Scorecard takes a step back and looks at how various asset classes across the globe are performing. The weekly performance is from last Friday’s open to this week’s Thursday close.

After a few tumultuous weeks, global markets found relative peace. This week was relatively quiet in market-moving events and data. U.K. manufacturing production rose 0.3% in December month-over-month, in line with analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, Britain’s consumer price index advanced 3% in January compared to the same month last year, unchanged compared to the previous month. Analysts had expected inflation of 2.9%. Core CPI was 30 basis points lower to 2.7%, higher than 2.6% expected by forecasters. U.S. consumer price index increased by 0.5% in January, above expectations of 0.3%. Core CPI, however, rose 0.3% month-over-month, again delivering a surprise as analysts had expected 0.2%. Year-over-year, however, inflation is in line with Federal Reserve’s 2% goal, while core inflation is a little below target at 1.8%. U.S. retail sales fell 0.3% in January, dealing a blow to over-optimistic analysts, who, on average, had expected a rise of 0.3%. Core retail sales, i.e. less autos, also underwhelmed, posting flat growth month-over-month. The poor figures are largely due to weak auto sales in January, which unexpectedly dropped by 1.3% U.S. crude oil inventories are continuing to rise, with stockpiles advancing 1.8 million barrels for the week ended February 9. This is the third consecutive uptick, after the previous two weeks’ inventories climbed by 1.9 million and 6.8 million barrels, respectively. U.S. unemployment claims came in at 230,000 for the week ended February 10, slightly higher than analysts had forecasted. In the prior week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a blockbuster report of 221,000 jobless claims.

Risk Appetite Review

Markets started to rise in the past five days, reversing some of the drops recorded in previous weeks. High Beta (SPHB B-) was the best performer for the week, surging as much as 4.82%. The gains come after the index tumbled 9% in the prior week. Low Volatility (SPLV A) is the worst performer, although it soared 4.4%. The S&P 500 (SPY A) has skyrocketed 4.69% in the past five days, reversing some of the losses. Sign up for ETFdb.com Pro and get access to real-time ratings on over 1,900 U.S.-listed ETFs.  

Major Index Review

Global equities were all on a tear, leaving the sell-off well behind. Emerging markets (EEM A-) posted the best performance for the week, rising 7.32%, as investors saw value in the relatively undervalued asset class. European stocks (EFA A), failed to recover properly, edging up 3.42%, as worries about the effects of a strong euro on the Eurozone economy have intensified. Small-cap stocks (IWM B+) are the worst monthly performers with a decline of 3.81%, as the market sell-off proved particularly painful for smaller companies. Technology stocks (QQQ A-) performed the best for the rolling month, up slightly. To see how these indices performed a week before last, check out ETF Scorecard: February 9 Edition  

Sectors Review

The recovery took place in all sectors, albeit, not uniformly. The technology sector (XLK A) was the best performer, rising 6.8%, after tumbling in previous weeks pretty dramatically. The tech industry is also the best performer for the rolling month, up 0.09%, as it benefited from a string of strong earnings results, including that of Nvidia (NVDA). Meanwhile, the energy sector (XLE A) failed to engineer a proper recovery, eking up just 1.16%. As a result of the small rise, (XLE A) is the worst performer for the rolling month and the only asset to post double digit losses – down 12%. Weak performances of natural gas and oil weighed on the sector.  

Foreign Equity Review

Foreign equities were all in recovery mode. Russia (RSX B+) was surprisingly the best performer for the week, surging 7.7% despite weakening oil prices and another hit by the U.S., which recently published its oligarch list. Japan (EWJ A), meanwhile, was the worst weekly performer, advancing just short of 2%, as a strong yen hit the country’s stock markets. (EWJ A) is also the worst performer for the rolling month, down 4.97%. Brazil’s (EWZ B+) equities remained the best performer for the rolling month, up an impressive 5.15%, as the global sell-off largely circumvented the country. To find out more about ETFs exposed to particular countries, check our ETF Country Exposure tool. Select a particular country from a world map and get a list of all ETFs tracking your pick.  

Commodities Review

Commodities were all up, with one exception. Copper (JJC A) has risen 6.36% in the past five days, thanks to a falling dollar and recovering global markets. The impressive advance secured the commodity the first spot among its peers. Natural gas (UNG B-) was the worst performer and the single faller for the week, down 1.58%, as the winter season is ending and demand is cooling off. Natural gas is also the worst performer for the rolling month, down 11%. Agricultural commodities (DBA A) is the best monthly performer, with a rise of 3.3%, in no small part due to rising wheat prices. Use our Head-to-Head Comparison tool to compare two ETFs such as (UNG B-) and (DBA A) on a variety of criteria such as performance, AUM, trading volume and expenses.  

Currency Review

The Japanese yen (FXY C+) is the best performer for the second consecutive week, advancing 2.65%. As a result of the flight to safety, (FXY C+) posted the best gains for the rolling month as well, up 4.3%. The U.S. dollar (UUP A) was the only faller this week, dropping 2.03%. The dollar is also the worst performer for the rolling month, down 2.24%.  

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