Gold’s Crash Outshines the Need for Heat

Year-to-Date S&P GSCI is off 6.81% S&P GSCI Gold had its biggest one day loss ever,-9.3%, on April 15, 2013, since its inception on Jan 6, 1978, and hit its lowest level since Feb 2, 2011. The decline was due to worries about central bank sales, especially from Cyprus, but also, from the Fed winding Read more […]

Equity Auguries?

The market for credit default swaps is typically not well-understood by equity investors (myself emphatically included).  This is unfortunate, since the price of insuring a company’s bonds (which is what a CDS measures) can sometimes provide insight into the same company’s equity securities. For example, in September 2012, the S&P 500 financials sector began to Read more […]

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 […]