Asset Class Performance To Start 2021

Large-cap Tech led the US equity market in 2020, but it has gotten off to a rough start to 2021. As shown in our asset class performance matrix below, the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is down 1.98% YTD after gaining 48.62% in 2020. The S&P 500 (SPY) is down 0.09%, while the Dow 30 (DIA) is up 0.79%.

While large-cap index ETFs are flat to down so far this year, the small-cap ETFs like IJR and IWM are up 6% and 4.3%, respectively. The S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW) is down 1.77% to start the year, while the S&P 500 Value ETF (IVE) is up 1.6%. Small-cap value (IJS) is already up 6.8% on the year. The DJ Dividend ETF (DVY) is up 3.6% so far in 2021 after falling 4.9% in 2020.  2021 has so far been the opposite of 2020 in terms of what’s outperforming.

Looking at S&P 500 sectors, the Energy sector (XLE) is up 7.8% YTD after falling 32.5% in 2020. Materials (XLB) and Financials (XLF) have gotten off to a hot start to the year as well. On the flip side, we’ve seen Technology (XLK), Consumer Staples (XLP), and Communication Services (XLC) fall more than 1%.

Outside of the US, international equity markets have staged nice rallies over the first three trading days of the year. The UK (EWU) is already up 6% while China (ASHR) is up 5%. The only country ETF in the matrix that is down is Brazil (EWZ) with a decline of 1.2%.

Commodity ETFs are up across the board, with DBC up 2.4%, oil (USO) up 3.3%, natural gas (UNG) up 6.9%, silver (SLV) up 3.1%, and gold (GLD) up 0.9%. Treasury ETFs have seen some of the weakest performance numbers to start 2021 with the 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TLT) already down 2.9%.

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