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The ETF Portfolio Strategist: Commodities, U.S. Stocks, Bonds Continue To Rally

By James PicernoStock MarketsJul 04, 2021 02:08AM ET
www.investing.com/analysis/the-etf-portfolio-strategist-commodities-us-stocks-bonds-continue-to-rally-200589662
The ETF Portfolio Strategist: Commodities, U.S. Stocks, Bonds Continue To Rally
By James Picerno   |  Jul 04, 2021 02:08AM ET
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Commodities led the week’s gainers

It wasn’t even close. WisdomTree Continuous Commodity Index Fund (NYSE:GCC) topped the performance ledger for trading through Friday, July 2 for our 16-fund opportunity set, which proxies for the major asset classes.

There were other gainers, but GCC stole the show with a 2.2% weekly advance that left the rest of the field in the dust. For details on all the strategy rules and risk metrics, see this summary.

GB 16 ETFs Ranked By Weekly Returns
GB 16 ETFs Ranked By Weekly Returns

US stocks were in second place, albeit well behind GCC. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSE:VTI) rallied 1.2%, lifting the fund to a new record high.

VTI Weekly Chart
VTI Weekly Chart

Meanwhile, US bond prices continued to rise, courtesy of the ongoing slide in Treasury yields. Despite worries that inflation will run hotter for longer, the Treasury market seems to be pricing in a more stable run of pricing pressure that’s in line with the Federal Reserve’s transitory narrative.

The benchmark 10-year yield ended last week at 1.44%, the lowest since March 2 and it’s not obvious that the downside bias has yet run its course.

UST10Y Weekly Chart
UST10Y Weekly Chart

Is it time to declare that the fixed-income market is in a new bull market? Or will inflation soon prove to be more persistent than the Federal Reserve expects, thereby ruining the party?

Unclear for now, but there’s no doubt that bond prices are on a roll. US investment-grade corporates look strong, for example. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSE:LQD) rose to a new pandemic high on Friday.

LQD Weekly Chart
LQD Weekly Chart

US junk bonds were showing even more upside strength. Although the yield spreads in this realm over Treasuries have slipped to levels at or near record lows, that hasn’t stopped these securities from setting new highs for prices. SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSE:JNK) set yet another record last week by edging up 0.5%.

JNK Weekly Chart
JNK Weekly Chart

There were more losers than winners last week, primarily in foreign markets in unhedged US-dollar terms. But the biggest setback for our opportunity set was in US small-cap stocks.

The iShares S&P Small-Cap 600 Value ETF (NYSE:IJS) continued to trade in a range with a mild downside bias, losing 1.4% last week. It’s premature to say that the recent recovery for this corner of equities has ended; the optimistic spin was that small-caps were merely consolidating recent gains.

IJS Weekly Chart
IJS Weekly Chart

Strategy momentum continues to err on the side of the bulls

Although most slices of the opportunity set posted losses last week, all of our multi-asset-class portfolio benchmarks rose.

The big winner: the US 60/40 stock/bond mix, which increased 1.0%. The laggard: our primary strategy benchmark via Global Beta 16 (G.B16), which owns all the 16 funds listed in the table above, per the weights shown below.

G.B16 barely kept its head above water last week via a 0.2% gain, but that was enough to keep this benchmark comfortably in the lead year-to-date vs. the other benchmarks.

Portfolio Strategy Benchmarks
Portfolio Strategy Benchmarks

How long can the rally off the pandemic low last? By some accounts, the upside momentum’s shelf life is long past expiration. Maybe, but bullish momentum still suggests otherwise.

GB16 Sectors
GB16 Sectors
The ETF Portfolio Strategist: Commodities, U.S. Stocks, Bonds Continue To Rally
 

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The ETF Portfolio Strategist: Commodities, U.S. Stocks, Bonds Continue To Rally

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