The top performing countries thus far in the 2014 Winter
Olympics are a mixed group that covers three continents.
The question is whether their success grabbing medals at the
Olympics will result in strong results for their country's stock
The small Northern European country of Netherlands is
surprising sports enthusiasts around the globe by sitting near
the top of the medal count. Not only is the country celebrating
the medal lead, but they also have bragging rights when it comes
to their stock market. The iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF (NYSE:
) is up 23.4 percent over the last 12 months, outpacing the other
countries in the top five of the medal count.
The U.S. is currently in second place in the medal count and
is not far behind the Netherlands in stock market performance.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
)is up 21.1 percent over the last 12 months. SPY is trading just
below an all-time high after what has become a typical pullback
to begin 2014. Based on valuations, potential growth, and risk,
the U.S. is considered one of the more attractive countries in
the world going forward.
Do Olympic Medals Mean A Strong National
The host country of Russia is now leading the U.S. by
one medal and sits atop the leader board, but their stock market
performance could not be more different. The Market Vectors
Russia ETF (NYSE:
) is down 12.9 percent over the last 12 months. The issues with
the Russian economy are no secret and even though the country's
valuation is well below its average, the risk remains high for
Of course there is a Baltic country near the top of the medal
count at a Winter Olympics. Norway is leading the way for the
region this time around. The country of just over five million
people has had its ups and downs over the last year, as measured
by the Global X FTSE Norway 30 ETF (NYSE:
). Throughout the volatility the last 12 months the ETF is near
flat with a minimal gain of 2.6 percent. Because the ETF has 43
percent of its assets in the energy sector, the price of oil will
be a major factor in the performance.
The other North American country near the top of the list is
Canada, which was the host of the 2010 winter Olympics. The
country is often viewed as the little cousin of the U.S. and over
the last 12 months it has been the little underperforming cousin
with the iShares MSCI Canada ETF (NYSE:
)only up 1.9 percent.
Of the countries near the top of the medal count both past
performance and the outlook for 2014 the U.S. appears poised to
win the stock market competition. There is a chance that Russia
could turn things around, however the risk may be too high for
the average investor.
(c) 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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