Low Volatility Rate Response – Interest Rate Changes and Relative Performance

In a prior post, we saw that during sharp rising interest rate periods, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Rate Response fared better than the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index, even though both indices generally underperformed the S&P 500. In this post, we examine if there is a relationship between the magnitude of interest rate changes Read more […]

Women May Nurse This Old Stock Market Bull

“Not enough progress has been made in closing the gender gap, and in fact, in some countries, you have seen gender inequality increasing…” – Ángel Gurría, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This was the opening of a recent speech at #WomenRule by Politico on a paper newly published by S&P Read more […]

The Next Frontier in Footprinting: Carbon Accounting for Sovereign Bonds

Sovereign bonds remain largely unanalyzed by investors from a carbon risk and reporting perspective. This is despite clear acknowledgement in the Paris Agreement that governments have a critical role in curtailing global warming,[1] and the Financial Stability Board’s warning that climate change could affect all asset classes and the stability of the broader financial system.[2] Read more […]

Introducing the U.S. S&P Select Industry Dashboard

We recently launched the monthly U.S. S&P Select Industry Dashboard, which provides key metrics, analysis of correlation and dispersion, and historical risk/return data for 20 investable select industry indices. The dashboard is a natural extension of our U.S. Select Sector Dashboard, which provides analysis for investable sectors across the large-, mid-, and small-cap ranges. For Read more […]

Assessing the Potential of Value Factors in the Indian Market

The value factor looks to bucket stocks that have inexpensive valuation and trade at a discount to their fundamental value, with the hypothesis that inexpensive stocks should outperform overvalued stocks. Observations in empirical research suggested that the value factor performed best when the economy was in recovery and growth was accelerating from trough.[1] We recently Read more […]

The Department of Labor and ESG Guidance: Is the Pendulum Shifting?

In late April 2018, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Regulations and Interpretations issued the Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-01, clarifying guidance on how investment managers should interpret the DOL’s prior Interpretive Bulletins (IBs) issued in 2015 and 2016. Issued during the Obama administration, the IBs detail the exercise of shareholder rights, written statements Read more […]

How an Industry Reduced Its Carbon Pricing Risk by 922%

Companies that act now to invest in low carbon technologies have the chance to maintain their license to grow and avoid carbon pricing costs that would significantly reduce profits. For example, in 2020, the technology sector’s investments in energy efficiency for their U.S. data centers could avoid over USD 6.9 billion in carbon costs and Read more […]

Low Inflation isn’t Unusual

Fed watchers and bond holders worry that inflation could spike, tempting the Fed to boost rates much farther than the current half percentage point the market expects in the rest of 2018.  With the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policy makers, meeting today and tomorrow these concerns are front and center.  This morning’s Read more […]

Momentum’s Minsky Moment?

U.S. equity funds following momentum (or relative strength) strategies have generally performed well recently, and their performance has been rewarded with inflows.  This is important because momentum, uniquely among investment styles, is self-reinforcing – until it isn’t. Typically, as factors become more popular, their excess returns are likely to diminish.  For example: the more value Read more […]

Integrating Carbon Risk With the Quality Factor

In a prior blog, we demonstrated that a sector-relative, carbon-efficient portfolio was superior to a sector-unconstrained one when forming low-carbon portfolios. In this blog, we explore the integration of carbon risk in quality factor portfolios. High-quality companies seek to generate higher profitability and enjoy more stable growth than “average” companies. Equally important, high-quality companies seek Read more […]