February Brings Both the Positive and the Negative in European Government Bond Markets

Germany and Luxembourg government bond yields have tightened nearly 30 bps since the beginning of 2016, moving the S&P Germany Sovereign Bond Index and the S&P Luxembourg Sovereign Bond Index yields back into negative territory (see Exhibit 1).  Yields on both indices last hit negative territory in April 2015, at the height of the Greek Read more […]

Will History Repeat Itself in Feb. 2016?

The year 2016 appears to have gotten off to a similar start to the beginning of 2015.  The S&P 500® Bond Index has returned 0.92% as of Feb. 8, 2016, while in 2015 the index was up 1.57% as of Feb. 8, 2015.  Maybe the month of February will end up being more similar than Read more […]

Dividend and Low Volatility-Investments

It’s been a tough start to the new year for the S&P 500®, with a 6.4% decline (as of Feb. 3, 2016).  However, the year-to-date performance of certain factor-focused smart-beta indices tied to subsets of the S&P 500 is relatively bright. The S&P 500 is a well-diversified US equity index, seeking to provide exposure to Read more […]

Does it Have to Be Active OR Passive? Why Not the Best of Both Worlds?

The debate on active versus passive investing is endless, and there are strong arguments on both sides. The active side argues on the advantages of alpha, star fund managers’ year-over-year record performances, better market timing, and better stock picking backed by thorough research. On the other side, there is a strong passive argument for capturing Read more […]

Homes In These Two Cities May Shelter Better Than Gold

Gold is on the rise this year as investors seek shelter from the volatility in the stock and oil markets. While 90-day annualized volatility of oil, around 50%, is the highest since April last year, and is near its 2001 peak, it’s not near the high levels of 2008 or 1991. Also, the open interest that Read more […]

Volatility Rides Again

Global equity markets stumbled out of the gate in 2016, and still haven’t found their stride. Markets are experiencing an intense case of risk off sentiment, as investors flee from riskier assets in pursuit of safe havens. The yield of 10 year US Treasury Notes is down to less than 1.8%, while oft-maligned gold is Read more […]

Is Oil’s Spill Turning the Credit Cycle?

While the slumping price of oil is bearing the brunt of the current volatility in the markets these days, there are other signs that indicate more widespread shifts in the credit cycle.  High-yield credit default spreads have widened, as shown by both the S&P/ISDA CDS U.S. High Yield BB and the S&P/ISDA CDS U.S. High Read more […]

Better Than the Headline

The smaller than expected rise in payrolls in this morning’s January Employment Report disappointed people, but the details were far better than the 151,000 gain in payrolls.  Even though to total of new jobs was about 40,000 lower than the consensus forecast, some details in the number were surprisingly good: manufacturing employment jumped by 29,000. Read more […]

Risk Off, Yields Move Lower

Global yields are lower year-to-date in all developed countries except Hong Kong, as measured by the S&P Global Developed Sovereign Bond Index. Weak economic growth, low inflation, and concern over the situation in the Middle East have led many to invest in safer assets. The U.S. market took note of the slowing growth, both domestically Read more […]

Does Smart Beta Offer a Better Mousetrap?

How are financial advisors applying smart beta strategies to manage risk and potentially enhance returns? S&P Capital IQ’s Sam Stovall and S&P DJI’s Shaun Wurzbach discuss what to expect at the February 24 FA Forum, “Where Can Smart Beta Take You?”