Category Archives: Strategy

Decomposing Recent Volatility Events Part 1

After a strong January 2018, the U.S. equity market started February with a roller coaster ride. The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), which has been relatively quiet over the past couple years, spiked up and crossed the 50 mark intraday on Feb. 5, 2018. On the same day, the S&P 500® VIX Short Term Futures Inverse Read more […]

The Difference a Few Days Make

For investors, things looked very different between the end of January and the first part of February. Following a few days of market turmoil in February, volatility jumped to levels where it is once again at the forefront of investors’ consciousness. Volatility based on a 252-day lookback generally declined for S&P 500 sectors (Telecom excluded) Read more […]

How Will It End?

The Fed is raising interest rates, the yields on Treasury notes are climbing, the stock market just had a hyper-speed correct, VIX spiked and the inflation numbers are worrying.  Is there a message buried in all these data? Maybe not a clear message, but one sure thing and some hints.  The sure thing is that Read more […]

Inflation News and Fears

Two weeks ago inflation fears sparked by a surprise jump in wage gains sent the markets into a tail spin. This week will deliver two rounds of inflation news with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Wednesday and the Producer Price Index (PPI) on Thursday.  Month to month changes in both the CPI and PPI Read more […]

A Case for Dividend Growth Strategies Part 1

There are two major types of dividend strategies: Dividend growers: those targeting stocks that consistently grow their dividends over time High dividend yielders: those focusing on stocks that pay a high dividend yield In our paper “A Case for Dividend Growth Strategies,” we compared dividend growth strategies to high-dividend-yielding strategies and concluded that dividend growers, Read more […]

Does the S&P/BMV Mexico Target Risk Index Series Provide Inflation Protection?

As of Dec. 31, 2017, the year-over-year change in inflation for Mexico registered at 6.77%, a figure that raised concerns within the pension fund industry. One of the key risks facing retirees is the erosion of purchasing power of investment returns due to high inflation. Developing economies, such as Mexico, are more susceptible to rising Read more […]

What just happened in VIX … and is it over yet?

In recent years, strategies selling volatility (and VIX® futures in particular) garnered substantial attention due to the low levels of VIX and the eye-watering returns achieved by associated benchmarks such as the S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index (we’ll call it the “short VIX index” here for convenience).   At the end of last Read more […]

Buying High and Selling Low: The Counterintuitiveness of VIX® Trading

With 2017 in the rear view mirror, we can look back and observe that short VIX strategies rank as one of the most profitable strategies of the year. The S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index returned 186.39%, and selling VIX futures has become a popular income-generating strategy. 2017 was also a year marked Read more […]

Turning Point in Bond Yields

The ten year Treasury note closed with a yield over 2.5% this week, sparking talk that interest rates may have bottomed. The first chart shows the yield on the 10 year treasury going all the way back to 1953.  As seen there, the bottom in July 2016 at 1.5%. Last March the yield was 2.5%, Read more […]

European Factor Highlights

We recently updated our S&P Europe 350 Factor Dashboard, which shows the factor exposures of a number of our European indices (interested parties can sign up here).  Here are some highlights from our year-end report. Little separated the returns to European core factor indices, but all outperformed While the extremely low stock-level dispersion contributed to Read more […]