Volatility: Love It or Leave It

Investors are rightly concerned about the future course of equity prices, especially in the context of the Federal Reserve’s bruited tapering of QE3, and it’s obviously true that equity market volatility has increased sharply since the beginning of May. Rising volatility typically means lower stock prices — the correlation of the S&P 500 and the Read more […]

The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Since roughly the beginning of May, U.S. interest rates have been in an uptrend, with the 10 year Treasury note ending last week at a yield of 2.5%. Equity markets, not surprisingly, have reacted by weakening, especially in last week’s trading. Some of us of a certain age will admit to a degree of bewilderment Read more […]

After the crunch

Friday afternoon and the markets survived the Fed’s pre-announcement of QE3’s demise.  The big move was in the yield on 10 year treasuries, now about 2.5%, the highest since August of 2011.  VIX broke through 20 the first time this year. The stock market is down but has only retraced its steps back to late Read more […]

Risky Assets, Safe Havens, or Lost Identities?

All commodities in the S&P GSCI and the DJ-UBS CI crashed on June 20, 2013, losing 3.1% and 3.0%, respectively, after the Fed declared the U.S. economy was expanding strongly enough for the central bank to begin slowing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus later this year.  This is generally bad news for commodities since historically Read more […]

Anticipation, It’s Making Me Wait

And waiting is exactly what the markets did for most of Wednesday, right up until the 2 p.m. press release from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Following the press release, markets sold off on confirmation that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace. As the release stated, “Labor market conditions have Read more […]

Who’s complaining, who’s speculating, who’s hedging and who’s to blame?

JOIN US FOR OUR 7TH ANNUAL COMMODITIES SEMINAR! Managing Commodities in Modern Times: Hard-Won Lessons After 160 Years of Trial & Error S&P Dow Jones Indices invites you to this half-day complimentary seminar which has become Europe’s annual meeting point for commodity aficionados for close to a decade. Join us and other leading industry professionals Read more […]

S&P Dow Jones Raises Market Cap Guidelines for S&P 500

In a release on June 19th the S&P Dow Jones US Index Committee raised the market cap guidelines used when selecting companies for the S&P 500, S&P  Mid Cap 400 and S&P Small Cap 600. The new guidelines are: S&P 500: Over $4.6 billion, raised from $4 billion S&P Mid Cap 400: $1.2 to $5.1 Read more […]

Fed Proposes, Market Disposes

The FOMC statement and Ben Bernanke’s press conference was not well received this afternoon.  Hopes for something that would smooth over the recent volatility with assurances that QE3 would last for many more months to come were dashed by comments during the press conference that most FOMC members could see bond buying tapering off this Read more […]

Q1 Buybacks Slightly Up, But Fewer Shares Repurchased

Q1 Buybacks Slightly Up, But Fewer Shares Repurchased Breakdown shows a broader participation in share count reduction – but it is slow Q1,’13 S&P 500 buyback expenditures slightly increased 0.8%, to $100.0B from $99.1B in Q4,’12, and was up 18.6% for Q1,’12 $84.3B (record was Q2,’07 at $172B). 12 months ending Mar,’13 increased 3.8% to $414.6B from Read more […]