Special Report: US vs. European Banks CDS

The S&P/ISDA CDS U.S. Financials Select 10 Index held steady widening by a diminutive amount [3bps] for the month of March. The same cannot be said for the S&P/ISDA CDS European Banks Select 15 Index whose spread widened by 35bps in tandem with the news of the banking crisis in Cyprus. Cypriot banks remained closed Read more […]

Gold No Longer Worth Its Weight

Year-to-Date Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index is off 5.41% Gold, the commodity with the heaviest 2013 target weight in the DJ-UBS CI, no longer is the most heavily weighted commodity in the index, falling from 10.8% to 9.5% since the beginning of the year. The DJ-UBS CI Natural Gas Subindex, the best performer YTD, has now Read more […]

Joining the Index Club

The Wall Street Journal recently urged its readers to “Beware of Index Funds That Aren’t” (http://on.wsj.com/Xycv7P). If some soi-disant index funds “aren’t,” which ones “are” — or, at the most basic level, what is an index? A good working definition of an index is this: an index is a portfolio in which constituent and weighting Read more […]

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 […]