The S&P 500 fell 1.25% Wednesday, but the underlying decline was even worse with the average stock in the index falling 1.58%. Below is a look at our key ETF matrix, which highlights the recent performance of various asset classes.
Equities were down across the board Wednesday as investors flocked to less risky assets like Treasuries and the US Dollar. Smallcaps got hit the hardest with a decline of 1.87%, while Materials and Energy fell the most of the ten S&P 500 sectors. The Materials ETF (XLB) fell 2.81%, leaving it up just 1.44% on the year. Only Telecom has done worse year to date. Consumer Staples and Utilities -- big defensives -- were down the least Wednesday, which isn't surprising.
Internationally, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Russia all fell more than 2%, while the Japan ETF (EWJ) was up 0.30%. Commodities like gold (GLD), silver (SLV) and oil (USO) got absolutely slaughtered, and gold and silver are now both down more than 6% year to date.
Even with Wednesday's declines, US stocks are still up significantly year to date. Consumer Staples, Energy, Financials, Health Care and Industrials all remain up more than 7% in 2013. Outside of the US, stocks haven't been performing nearly as well, but most countries are still in positive territory for the year. And even though it was up Wednesday, the 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TLT) is down more than 4% YTD. For now, the uptrend remains in place for stocks, and today seemed to be a "sell the winners" type day that typically occurs every now and then when the market is overbought.