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Chart of the Week Archive

Fading China

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.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index remains well below the key expansionary threshold of 50.

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Sinking Spain

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.

A housing bubble followed by a housing bust lead to slow growth, high unemployment and large government deficits in Spain.

More recenlty, concerns over whether Spain has the capacity to r

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Financials Give Back

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.

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Home Builders Remain Constructive

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.

The latest government report on new residential construction came in at 747,000 building permits for March, up 4.5% from February and up 30.1% from March 2011.

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Trading France

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.

French voters elected Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as president.

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Low Energy

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.

Falling natural gas prices and anemic economic growth have contributed to the underpeformance by the sector.

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Industrials Forge Ahead

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.

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Tough Quarter for Gold Investors

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.

However, from a longer term perspective, gold has consistently outperformed equities.

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