How Are Assets Performing in 2014?

We’re already in March. That was fast wasn’t it? So how are things going so far? It’s a new year full of new stories. Less Taper, more Ukraine. But who’s leading and who is lagging?

Coming into today Commodities are the big winner so far for 2014. The Equal Weight Continuous Commodity Index is up almost 10%. Treasury bonds have been a big winner as well. With interest rates getting smoked this year, my favorite t-bond benchmark $TLT is up 7.5% year-to-date. Meanwhile the S&P500 coming into Tuesday is basically flat for 2014.

3-4-14 assets

Here are the individual sectors so far this year. The big winners are Healthcare and Utilities, up 6.4% and 5.5% respectively. The rest of the sectors are up or down 2% and not really making much noise yet:

3-4-14 sectors

And here are a bunch of stock markets from around the world. Latin America is the big loser so far down over 10% YTD. This should be no surprise as it has been a serial underperformer for years. Japan has been getting hit as well, but not as bad as China (down almost 9%). Things have been much more quiet in North America with both the US and Canada flat in 2014:

3-4-14 countries

We all know Coffee has been a monster so far this year. But most of the other commodities are doing well also. Gold and Silver are up 12% and 10% respectively, Oil and Natural Gas are each up over 6% and one of my favorites: Corn is up 11.5%. I know the energy names usually get all the attention, which is why most commodity indices are heavily weighted with Oil & Gas. But I prefer to use an equal-weighted measure as you can see in the chart above:

3-4-14 commodities

And that’s 2014 so far folks. What do you think? More of this to come? Or will equities finally get going? And not just in the US, but around the world?