Fading China

Weak manufacturing data continues to be a drag on the performance of China equities. The FTSE-Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI) is up only 6% in the past 12 months while the S&P 500 is up 28% over the same time period.

Sinking Spain

The outlook for equities in Spain has gradually deteriorated over the past year and recent developments have continued the trend. The MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) is down over 45% over the past year while the S&P 500 has been flat over the same time period.

XLF May 2012

Financials Give Back

After outperforming other sectors since the beginning of the year, financials have given up most of the gains and are now even with the broader market. State Street’s Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) was up 20% as late as the beginning of April before beginning a 6-week slide. XLF is now up only 3% year-to-date compared to a 2% gain for the broader market.


Home Builders Remain Constructive

Housing related stocks have outpaced the broader market in 2012 as the new home market continues to recover. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) is up 24% year-to-date compared to a 7% gain for the broader market.

Trading France

According to the WSJ, the euro, European stocks, bank shares and “peripheral” euro-zone sovereign bonds all suffered as funds moved into the safety of the dollar and assets like German bunds following the weekend elections in France.


Low Energy

Energy stocks have underperformed the broader market in 2012 and the trend doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. The Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) is flat year-to-date in 2012 compared to an 11% gain for the broader market.


Industrials Forge Ahead

After a long decline last summer, industrial stocks have turned around and are now outpacing the broader market. The Vanguard Industrials ETF (VIS) is up 13% since September 1, 2011. That compares to an 8% rise for the broader equity market over the same time period.


Tough Quarter for Gold Investors

The final quarter of 2011 is one that Gold investors would like to forget. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was down over 5% in the last three months of the year compared to a 15% gain for the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) over the same time period.

Can China Come Back?

China equities have continued to underperform the broader market throughout the second half of 2011. The $6 billion iShares FTSE-Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI) is down nearly 19% since the end of June compared to only a 2% decline for the S&P 500.