Tag Archives: Index Investment Strategy

European Factor Highlights

We recently updated our S&P Europe 350 Factor Dashboard, which shows the factor exposures of a number of our European indices (interested parties can sign up here).  Here are some highlights from our year-end report. Little separated the returns to European core factor indices, but all outperformed While the extremely low stock-level dispersion contributed to Read more […]

Are you celebrating 101010101010?

News that the Dow broke through 25,000 yesterday was not universally celebrated.  A market index achieved a specific numerical barrier — so what?  The importance of such events is at best anecdotal, and their celebration in the media is increasingly regarded as humbug.  Is there any truth – one might ask – to the theory Read more […]

2017: A Selection of Highlights

As we rapidly approach Christmas and New Year (not to mention year-end evaluations) it seems fitting to reflect on what happened in 2017.  We will publish our regional month-end dashboards on December 29 (interested parties may sign up here).  Before then, here are a few highlights using data as of December 15. Volatility was historically Read more […]

What is VIX Predicting about Future Volatility?

VIX® closed last night at 11.33.  What, if anything, does that mean? We recently published a research paper, together with a more digestible practitioner’s guide, that provides a method for converting a given VIX level into an expectation for S&P 500® volatility over the next 30 days.  Exhibit 1 shows that these estimates have provided Read more […]

How Low Can Volatility Go?

There’s still some time remaining in 2017, but if it goes the way the year has thus far, this will be the least volatile year for the S&P 500 in 22 years. Given this context, selection to the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index (an index of the 100 least volatile stocks in the S&P 500) Read more […]

Financials Gain More Prominence in Latest Low Vol Rebalance

Volatility has been generally subdued so far this year.  In the latest rebalance, the S&P 500® Low Volatility Index’s most significant sector shift was to Financials (adding 5% to bring the sector to 21% of the index).  Allocation in the remaining sectors did not deviate too far from the last rebalance. Technology’s weight, which increased Read more […]

Most Things Are Relative

The S&P 500 Low Volatility Index measures the performance of the 100 least volatile stocks in the S&P 500. In its latest quarterly rebalance (effective at the market close on February 17, 2017), the index scaled back weightings in Utilities, Health Care and Real Estate while adding weight from the Technology, Financials and Consumer Discretionary Read more […]

Winners and Losers in Trump’s Electoral Surprise

Donald Trump’s unexpected success initially threatened to send the U.S. equity markets into steep decline.  Yet as I write, the S&P 500 has moved very little since yesterday’s close (it is up a little), while the VIX has fallen dramatically. So why (or how) has volatility remained so low this morning when everyone expected it to Read more […]

VIX is holding the Trump card

Despite a narrowing election race and a deluge of earnings, the S&P 500 has not seen a daily change greater than 1% in nearly four weeks.  Realized volatility remains remarkably low.  But the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – a predictive measure of future volatility that is often seen as Wall Street’s “fear gauge” – has Read more […]

Rising Rates Revisited…

The prospect for and ramifications of rising interest rates have surfaced time and again in recent years. Whether and when the Fed will raise rates next is anyone’s guess. But as we’ve noted before, the correlation between higher interest rates and equity declines has grown tenuous in recent history.  Since 1991, the S&P 500 has Read more […]