Monkey See, Monkey Do?

A recently published paper  received a fair amount of publicity for its suggestion that portfolios selected randomly by monkeys would have outperformed a capitalization-weighted index of the same universe.  In recent years it seems like everyone is bashing cap-weighted indices, so it was probably only a matter of time until apes took a shot. Maybe Read more […]

Market Attributes: Index Dashboard

Simple juxtapositions can sometimes produce insight, or so at least runs the theory behind our just-introduced monthly U.S. index dashboard: http://us.spindices.com/documents/commentary/dashboard_032813_2914.pdf. For the first quarter of 2013, e.g., we can observe that: The equity markets were very strong (no revelation there), with both the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 both up more than 10% and Read more […]

Income Beyond Bonds

With both short- and long-term interest rates in the basement, income-sensitive investors have naturally begun to look to equities.  Significantly, the yield on the S&P 500 now exceeds that of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond – a relationship last seen in approximately 1958.  But if some equity yield is good, does that mean that more Read more […]

National Credit Default Rates Decreased in February 2013 According to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices

Three of the Five Cities Saw Default Rates Descend in February 2013 New York, March 19, 2013 – Data through February 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, showed a decrease in national default rates during Read more […]

Follow the Small Green Footprints (of Natural Gas) to Find the Fortune Year-to-Date DJ-UBS CI is off 0.58%

The DJ-UBS CI Energy Subindex is the best performing sector in the index, up 2.2% this week contributing to a 3.2% MTD return and 4.0% YTD return.  Although the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) projection of 820 kb/d annual growth in global oil demand for 2013 is less than the 1.4 mb/d growth average for non-recessionary Read more […]

A Pot of Cotton at the End of the Rainbow Year-to-Date S&P GSCI is off 0.19%

The S&P GSCI Agriculture is the best performing sector MTD, up 1.3%.  This is mainly due to the S&P GSCI Cotton, which gained 5.0% this week, bringing its YTD return up to 19.5%. It is the best performing commodity in the index this year, mainly driven by solid mill buying and U.S. exports. The U.S. Read more […]

US Municipal Bond Market Data – March 14, 2013

High yield municipal bond yields and relative spreads to investment grade munis have moved to lows not seen since 2008.  The S&P Municipal Bond High Yield Index has shown a positive total return of over 1.68% year to date and over 14% since this time last year.  The yield spread between high yield and investment Read more […]

Low Volatility: Active or Passive?

A recent posting suggested that institutional investors interested in exploiting the low volatility anomaly should do so by using active managers rather than one of the several passive vehicles available.  Far be it from me to criticize anyone for talking his own book, since I’m about to do it – but this is reminiscent of Read more […]