Why is the VIX so high?

No, our crack proofreading team didn’t muff the headline.  After several weeks of seemingly unanimous commentary about how investor complacency has resulted in VIX® levels that are “too low,” we want to ask the contrarian question.  Rather than being too low, why is the VIX so high? The question is germane because there has been Read more […]

FII Net Flow – Tell it to Sweeney!

The Indian Stock Market has continued to be volatile recently. The Lok Sabha election and the formation of the new Indian government boosted the stock market to an all-time high. The S&P BSE SENSEX Price Return Index surged and went beyond the threshold of 25,000 points. FII activity also increased with the positive sentiment and outlook of the Read more […]

Backwardation Bonanza!

If you experience your most expensive 4th of July ever, it may be from the unprecedented shortages of commodities in June.  Since 1970, as far back as the S&P GSCI has data, there has never been a June with as many commodities in backwardation as in June 2014. Of 24 commodities in the S&P GSCI, 23 of which are in Read more […]

The Mind of the Fed

The saying goes, “if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  That is the difficulty Fed chair Janet Yellen sees in monetary policy: if the only tool is raising or lowering interest rates, then everything – bubbles, inflation, unemployment, excessive risks, yield hunting or systemically important financial institutions – Read more […]

Practical Considerations for Implementing Alternate Beta Strategies

Recent financial crises have exposed the shortcomings of the traditional approach to asset allocation and have led an emerging shift, especially among institutional investors, towards dynamic asset allocation, hinged on the diversification across risk factors. While there are numerous research papers that explore this topic, they tend to be theoretical and it is for this Read more […]

Dow Jones Commodity Index Wins Independence

There could be no more symbolic time than just before the July 4th holiday for S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) to announce the Dow Jones Commodity Index (DJCI), an alternative to the former DJ-UBS. This is the first ever commodity index under the Dow Jones brand to be fully free from conflicts of interest, plus Read more […]

Euphoria vs. Anxiety

A heavy weight battle over economic policy and financial markets is brewing between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in one corner and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the other. Meanwhile the world’s major central banks may be lining up on one side or the other with the Bank of England (BOE) moving towards Read more […]

GOOOAL! For Mid-Year Treasury & Muni Returns

The month of June came quickly to a close and with it the half year 2014 index results.  At the start of the year expectations were for yields to be above 3% and climbing.  In reality rates have done the opposite as the yield on the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Index is a Read more […]

Why are active managers lagging?

In late 2013 and early 2014, we heard considerable chatter about the coming “stock picker’s market.”  2014 would favor stock selection strategies, it was said, because intra-market correlation was falling as macro-economic risks receded.  This morning’s Wall Street Journal reports that the contrary view — that low levels of stock market dispersion would make 2014 an Read more […]

Sector Investing: Another Approach

As markets are becoming more advanced and mature, investment strategies are incorporating different styles and methods to achieve desired returns.  There are growth and value styles, fundamentally driven strategies, tactical allocation strategies, sector-based strategies and the list goes on. We never know when a trend toward a certain style or strategy may take off and Read more […]