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.
This week was slow in macroeconomic events, but the business world was still given good topics to chat about. The inclusion of Chinese stocks in MSCI indexes and the landmark Amazon buyout of Whole Foods grabbed headlines and made up for the lack of relevant economic data. The performance of the U.S. housing sector disappointed in May, adding to the string of bad economic data. Housing starts dropped 5.5% to 1.09 million in the last month, below estimates of 1.22 million. Building permits, meanwhile, came in at 1.16 million compared to 1.22 million in the prior month. The sentiment of the U.S. consumer worsened in June, with preliminary figures pointing to a drop to 94.5 from 97.1. The U.S. trade deficit widened in the first quarter from a revised $114 billion to $116 billion, likely displeasing U.S. President Donald Trump, who made a campaign promise to shrink the deficit. The shortfall in the trading in goods was the main driver behind the increase in deficit, up almost $5 billion to more than $200 billion. U.S. crude oil inventories fell 2.7 million barrels for the week ended June 16, to 509 million, slightly above the level reported last year. This is the second consecutive weekly drop. U.S. existing home sales of 5.62 million trumped analysts’ estimates of 5.55 million, compensating for the bleak housing starts report. The job market continues to be the single bright spot in an otherwise disappointing picture of the American economy. Initial jobless claims stood at 241,000 for the week ended June 17, broadly in line with consensus estimates. Eurozone’s trade surplus narrowed to €22 billion in April from a revised €35 billion in March, in a clear sign the European consumer is awakening. In Europe, inflation figures for May were confirmed, with final CPI coming in at 1.4% and core CPI at 0.9%.
Risk Appetite Review
The broad market (SPY A) was the single gainer from the pack this week, tepidly advancing by 0.03%. In a sign investors shunned risky assets, High Beta (SPHB B-) dropped the most for the week – 1.10%. 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 mixed. After a thoroughly bad streak, the technology sector (QQQ A-) outperformed all the other assets this week, bolting 1.43%. The sector was buoyant, thanks to a landmark deal between Amazon (AMZN) and *WholeFood*s (WFM). The acquisition essentially marked Amazon’s entrance into the grocery market, with investors expecting it to use aggressive pricing to expand its footprint. Dow Jones (DIA A-) remained the strongest performer for the rolling month, rising by 2.21%. There is no doubt what asset was the worst performer: iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA A) fell the most, both for the week and the rolling month, down 1.77% and 2.05%, respectively. European equities pulled back this week, after a string of gains. The correction coincided with the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels. To see how these indices performed last week, check out ETF Scorecard: June 16 Edition.
With the exception of technology and healthcare, all sectors were down this week. The healthcare sector (XLV A) has risen 3.77% over the past five days, making it the best performer for the week and the rolling month. Over the past 30 days, (XLV A) rose nearly 7%. Investors in healthcare stocks cheered a draft bill by Senate Republicans aimed at replacing the Obamacare. The bill was broadly viewed as more favorable to the industry than expected. The energy sector (XLE A) was the worst performer both for the week and the rolling month, tumbling 2.53% and 6.11%, respectively. The industry was dragged down by oil, which continued its downward slide on worries about a persistent supply glut.
Foreign Equity Review
Foreign equities were mixed. Chinese stocks (FXI A-) advanced 0.43% over the past five days, posting the best weekly performance. The nation’s equities were boosted by the news of MSCI inclusion. Given that many passive investment funds track MSCI indexes, foreign inflows are expected to rise in the upcoming period. India (EPI B+) was among the few gainers for the rolling month, up 2.34%. U.K. equities (EWU A-) have fallen 3.17% over the past five days, as economic data continued to disappoint and the government marked its first loss in Brexit negotiations with the EU. British negotiators agreed to devise an exit plan first before starting to work on the future relationship with the bloc. Russian stocks (RSX B+) were down more than 10% for the rolling month, representing the worst performance from the bunch. 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.
The commodity pack was marked by dramatic drops in oil and gas prices. Oil (USO A) performed the worst this week, tumbling 5.18% on renewed fears about a chronic supply glut. The fact that U.S. crude inventories have been falling of late did not persuade investors to buy oil futures. (USO A) is also the worst performer for the rolling month as well, down a staggering 17%. Copper (JJC A) has advanced just short of 1% in the past five days, recouping some of the losses registered in the prior week, when it posted the worst performance. With a slight 0.32% gain for the past 30 days, copper is also the best monthly performer. Use our Head-to-Head Comparison tool to compare two ETFs such as (USO A) and (JJC A) on a variety of criteria such as performance, AUM, trading volume and expenses.
Currencies were all down, except the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar (UUP A) was the only gainer this week, rising a tepid 0.24%. The small gain was enough to make the greenback the best-performing currency for the rolling month, up 0.80%. The Australian dollar (FXA A-) is clearly on a roller coaster. After posting solid gains in the week prior, the currency dropped nearly 1% in the last five-day period. The British pound (FXB A-) remains the worst monthly performer with a loss of 2.35%.
For more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.