Below is a quick recap of asset class performance in the first half of 2014 using various ETFs traded on US exchanges. For each ETF, we provide its change in June, the second quarter, and the first half of the year. June and the second quarter were strong for US markets. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) gained 1.58% in June and 4.66% in the second quarter, leaving it up 5.97% year-to-date. The Dow underperformed the S&P by more than 240 basis points in the second quarter, gaining just 2.22%. The Nasdaq 100 had a huge second quarter with a gain of 7.12%, pushing it ahead of both the Dow and S&P in terms of year-to-date performance.
While smallcaps (IWM, IJR) had a great June, they had a rough patch in April and May and only finished the quarter up 2.12%. In terms of sector performance, Energy was the clear standout in Q2 with a gain of 12.40%. Utilities also did well in Q2 to add to its solid Q1 gains. Year-to-date, the Utilities ETF (NYSEARCA:XLU) is now up 16.57%, which is the strongest of any sector.
June returns were mixed in international markets. Countries like Brazil (NYSEARCA:EWZ), Canada (NYSEARCA:EWC), India (NYSEARCA:INP), Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ) and Russia (NYSEARCA:RSX) posted solid gains, while big Euro-area countries like France (NYSEARCA:EWQ), Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) and the UK (NYSEARCA:EWU) were in the red. Year-to-date, the India (INP) ETF is up the most out of the country ETFs highlighted with a gain of 20.91%. Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI), Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP) and Canada (EWC) were all up more than 10% in the first half as well.
Precious metals had a resurgence in the second quarter, leaving both gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) and silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) up solidly year-to-date as we enter the third quarter. And while Treasury ETFs fell across the board in June, they're all still up year-to-date. The 20+ year Treasury ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT) is actually up more than 11% for the year.