June, the second quarter and the first half of 2013 are now in
the books and while sixth month of the year was nothing to write
home about for riskier assets, it cannot be forgotten that the
first half of 2013 was the best first six months run for U.S.
stocks since 1999.
The S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent in June and now July is here,
a month with a checkered track record. Over the past 63 Julys,
the S&P 500 is up 36 times and down 27. The previous two up
performances in July, 2012 and 2009, saw the S&P 500 deliver
an average return of 2.5 percent. However, the previous two down
Julys, 2011 and 2010, saw an average S&P 500 loss of
about 5.5 percent
For the bulls, we offer up this
tidbit courtesy of StockCharts
: Over the past 50 years, the S&P 500 has delivered stellar
returns for buyers on July 3 that held stocks through the end of
the year. Keep that in mind with some of the following
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:
) Biotechnology, one of this year's top-performing sectors, fell
on some hard times in June with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology
ETF losing 5.1 percent. However, there may be no better tonic for
biotech stocks and ETFs to resume their bullish ways than some
mergers and acquisitions speculation.
Investors got just that when Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:
) rebuffed a takeover offer from Amgen (NASDAQ:
) Friday. Amgen offered $120 a share for Onyx, a 38 percent
premium to the latter's Friday closing price and that still was
not good enough. The two stocks combine for about 10 percent of
IBB's weight and chances are the other credible suitors for Onyx
are also among IBB's top holdings.
iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF (NYSE:
) EPU, as is the case with nearly every other emerging markets
ETF on the block, suffered through a dismal second quarter and
June. Many emerging markets funds were at least able to put
together decent rebounds last week, but EPU continued to be a
laggard, gaining just 1.4 percent while other single-country
funds were surging five, six percent and more.
As has been noted,
Peru has a precious metals problem
and with gold coming off its worst quarter since 1968, EPU is at
a crossroads. Either precious metals, including silver of which
Peru is the world's largest producer, bounce because of their
bargain basement prices or traders continue to pound the metals
into submission. Obviously, only one of those scenarios would be
good for EPU.
Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:
)There was plenty of chatter regarding the impact rising interest
could have on the utilities sector
, but when June came to a close, XLU was down just 0.74
That is the good news . The bad news is that in the 13 Julys
dating back to 1999, the first July XLU traded in, the ETF is
usually the worst performer of the nine select sector SPDRs ETFs
in the seventh month of the year.
For more on ETFs, click
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