First Half Scorecard

by: Bespoke Investment Group

With the first half of 2011 now officially in the books, below we provide a snapshot of asset class performance in the month of June, the second quarter and year to date. Nearly every ETF shown was down in the month of June. The only ETFs that were up were the Euro (NYSEARCA:FXE), the Yen (NYSEARCA:FXY), India (NYSEARCA:INP), Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ), and Mexico (NYSEARCA:EWW). Commodities were the big losers in June. Silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) was down the most of any asset class shown with a decline of 10%. Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) was down the second most at -6.53%.

Believe it or not, the Health Care sector ETF (NYSEARCA:XLV) was up the most out of all ETFs shown in the second quarter with a gain of 7.31%. The only other ETF that gained more than 5% in the second quarter was Utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU). The fact that two very defensive sectors gained the most out of all asset classes in Q2 speaks to the nature of the second quarter. While Health Care and Utilities outperformed in Q2, Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) and Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) were hit extremely hard. Energy (XLE) fell 5.52% from April through June, while Financials (XLF) fell even more at 6.35%.

Globally, France (NYSEARCA:EWQ), Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) and Japan (EWJ) all gained in Q2, while the rest of the countries shown were down. Just like in the month of June, commodities were the worst performing asset class in Q2. Oil (USO) was down the most with a decline of 12.58%, followed by SLV, DBC and UNG. Fixed income ETFs, which declined in June, were up nicely over the entire quarter.

If you were to guess which ETF below was up the most for the entire year so far, France (EWQ) might be one of the last ones picked. However, France (EWQ) was in fact the best performing asset class with a gain of 13.05%. Health Care (XLV) ranks second year to date with a gain of 12.79%, followed by Germany (EWG) and Silver (SLV).

In terms of the major US indices, the S&P Midcap 400 ETF (NYSEARCA:IJH) has done the best year to date with a gain of 7.73%. Surprisingly, the Dow 30 ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA) ranks second at 7.09%, followed closely by the S&P Smallcap 600 (NYSEARCA:IJR) at 7.08%. While the Dow 30 ETF is up more than 7% YTD, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) ETFs are both up less than 5%. Smallcap and midcap growth ETFs (IJT and IJK) significantly outperformed smallcap and midcap value ETFs (IVE and IJJ). Nine of the ten S&P 500 sector ETFs are up year to date. It's probably not too hard to guess which sector ETF is down in 2011 -- Financials (-3.76%).

While India (INP) was the best performing ETF in the month of June, it's the country ETF that's down the most year to date (-9.75%). Brazil (NYSEARCA:EWZ) is down the second most of the countries shown with a YTD decline of 5.23%, and Japan -- which has really done well all things considered -- ranks third worst at -4.40%. The natural gas ETF (NYSEARCA:UNG) is down the most of the commodities ETFs year to date at -8.04%, while oil (USO) is down 4.51%. Silver (SLV) is up the most YTD of the commodities shown with a gain of 12.13%.

So there you have it -- lackluster performance numbers in the second quarter and the month of June, but respectable gains over the entire first half of 2011. Good luck to everyone out there for a successful and enjoyable second half!

(Click chart to enlarge)