Invesco PowerShares listed an ETF this week that provides exposure to a portfolio of international companies with a demonstrated track record of stock buybacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While Friday’s price action may not mark a top, nearly every indicator that I follow is screaming that stocks are overbought across all time frames. Pair that with the Greece uncertainty and LTRO considerations and suddenly the Dollar starts to look a bit more attractive.
The financial complex is absolutely critical when looking at broad index returns. It is common knowledge that broad indexes such as the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average struggle to rally when the financial complex lags. The same can be said for the semiconductor sector as well.
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.