It has been a rough start to the week for the broad markets which has taken down many of the popular market ETF's. The selling continues to be widespread and consistent. The Nasdaq 100 ETF PowerShares (QQQ ) has taken the worst of the beating as it is down almost 6% as of Tuesday's close. For those that don't mind looking this means that year to date the ETF is down almost 14%. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY ) isn't doing much better but it is only down 2.5% for the week and 9% year to date. Regardless of your market ETF of choice there are none that are positive (not counting inverse ETF's). Its not all bad news though. take a look at the gold related ETFs such as GLD and GDX. The (GLD ), which is the direct gold ETF trade is up over 5% this week alone and now boasts a12% gain for the year of 2016. Many of the gold mining names are also performing quite well and this is evidenced by the monstrous 17% pop in the (GDX ) this week alone. The gains this week account for most of the 22% returns since the beginning of 2016. It is clear that investors are flocking to the "safe haven" trades.
Ok, back to the bad news. Oil remains down for the count. Just this week so far the US oil fund (USO ) has lost 4.5%, which puts it down a whopping 25% just this year. Add that to last year's 58% decline and you have one nasty commodity. The oil exploration companies are also hurting bad. The S&P oil exploration ETF (XOP ) has lost 6.7% in the first two days of the week and now shows an 17% decline on the year... and its only February!
Lastly, this just in! Retail has now entered correction territory as the popular Retail ETF (XRT ) has lost 4.7% so far this week. The decline now means it is down over 10% in less than 4 weeks. For a while it looked as though Lululemon (LULU ) was able to avoid the retail selling but this week has proven otherwise. An 8% decline this week proves that there is no shelter from the rain.
The list could go on and on but the word of the year is "selling"... and more selling. Weakness persists and time will tell how the markets will pull out of this one.