The US Stock Market Looks Pretty Average If You Compare it to the Rest of the World

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The Wall Street Journal reports that although US stocks are doing well, world stocks are doing even better:

Several major stock indexes that exclude U.S. stocks are on pace to best the S&P 500 for the first time since 2012, according to Morningstar. It’s a trend that’s playing out in both developed and emerging markets….The Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund, which owns global stocks, including the U.S., is up 7.5% and is so far on pace to top the S&P 500 by the widest margin since 2009.

Sure enough, the S&P 500 (in blue) is doing worse than three different Vanguard ETFs that track non-US stocks:

A word of warning, though: I had to cherry pick the starting date pretty carefully to get this view. Starting dates that differ by even a few days produce a much tighter cluster. And most of the S&P’s performance woes are due solely to a lackluster March.

Still, the Vanguard All-World ETF (in green) has been consistently better all along by a fair margin over the S&P 500. Generally speaking, it’s fair to say there’s nothing special about the American stock market surge over the past few months. It’s just riding along with the rest of the world.

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