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Building the Indian Skyline

The 10-Year Treasury Yield Hits Levels Not Seen Since Last June

Another Double-digit Pay Raise (it's not just executives)

Today’s Economic Indicators not moving the dial on yields.

Initial Q1,'14 S&P 500 stats:

Building the Indian Skyline

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Utkarsh Agrawal

Associate Director, Global Research & Design

S&P Dow Jones Indices

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Since the global recession in 2008, India has been witnessing a slower real growth. Despite being a labor surplus country, India lacks adequate infrastructure to sustain the growth of labor-intensive industries which provide employment to the unskilled to semi-skilled workforce. The Global Competitiveness Index published by World Economic Forum placed India on the 3rd position for the Market size and on the 85th position for the Infrastructure in its Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014. It also mentioned that the most problematic factor for doing business among others is the inadequate supply of infrastructure.

The development of infrastructure in a growing economy like India is very important to increase and maintain the sustainable growth rate in its real GDP which was approximately 4.35% in 2013 according to the World Economic Outlook Database April, 2014 published by the International Monetary Fund. Though investment in infrastructure as a percentage of GDP has been increasing over the years, the actual investment for the 10th plan was 5.15% of GDP and the projection for the 11th plan was 7.55% of GDP. It has been projected to be 9.95% of GDP for the 12th plan.

In the coming years, development of infrastructure should be a priority. Traditionally major share in the infrastructure development was contributed by the public sector. More and more participation of the private sector under the Public-Private Partnership is desirable to satisfy the growing needs.

The S&P BSE Infrastructure Index is an effort to measure the progress of the listed infrastructure in India. It has a targeted count of 30 stocks. The index aims to create a diversified exposure with five distinct clusters: Utilities, Energy, Transportation, Telecommunications and the Non-Banking Financial Institutions which are categorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as an ‘Infrastructure Finance Company’ or derive major business revenue from Infrastructure Finance. The clusters are based on a combination of GICS sectors. It has given an annualized return of 5.11% as on April 30, 2014 since April 28, 2006.

Disclaimer: This data is provided for illustrative purposes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our Disclaimers.

The 10-Year Treasury Yield Hits Levels Not Seen Since Last June

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Kevin Horan

Director, Fixed Income Indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices

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The last time the yield of the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index was in the neighborhood of 2.4% was back in June 2013. The days of a 1% handle on rates are behind us, but the current lower rates harken back before this year. The beginning of 2014 saw yields as high as 3%. Back then, the market worried over issues such as the start and speed of Fed tapering, discussions of the timing of a rate increase, and an improving jobless claims number.  Jobless claims were at 7% and the Fed was targeting 6.5%. Yields did come lower as a crisis in Ukraine erupted and a flight to safety trade resulted. Though it first appeared to pit the superpowers of Russia and the U.S. against each other, the Ukraine crisis has been downgraded to somewhat of a skirmish as varying counties has taken diplomatic approaches to dealing with the crisis.

Some focus has always been on the speed and timing of an economic recovery. Economic releases had been slow to indicate the speed of the recovery though recent numbers have shown a growing strength in their measures. The improving economic picture was knocked for a loop when a surprise rise in Germany’s unemployment to 24,000 from the expected 15,000 became cause for concern. Such a number before the June 5 European Central Bank interest rate announcement led investors to question economic strength and the possibility of an additional rate cut in Europe.

Since then, global sovereign bonds have moved down in yield. The S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index closed 7 basis points lower on the day of the Germany release (May 28). The change in pace of the expected global recovery has caused traders to cover shorts put on in expectation of higher rates, thus moving price higher and yields lower. Also, benchmark investors’ have been purchasing bonds to match their index’s duration extension for the May month-end rebalancing. Though reduced from prior levels, the Fed still purchases treasury bonds and mortgage bonds as part of the ongoing stimulus.

S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index- Yield-to-Worst

 

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our Disclaimers.

Another Double-digit Pay Raise (it's not just executives)

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Howard Silverblatt

Senior Index Analyst, Product Management

S&P Dow Jones Indices

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S&P 500 DIVIDENDS ON TRACK FOR DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE IN CASH PAYMENTS IN 2014: PAID 5 MO MAY,’14 + CURRENT DECLARED RATE FOR THE NEXT 7 MO = 10.5% INCREASE OVER 2013

Absent quick dividend cuts, it would appear we are past the point of not posting a double-digit gain in actual cash dividends payments for the S&P 500 (although I would never underestimate the ability of congress).

IF there are no changes in the S&P 500 membership, weights or dividend rates for the rest of the year (not going to happen), using the actual declared payments, and the current dividend rate of the issues over the next seven months would result in a double-digit gain in the actual cash dividend payments for 2014. Since I look at dividends as a paycheck, how many of you can claim a back-to-back double digit annual increase in your pay, with both years setting a new high?

Based on the paid and declared rates to date, 353 issues in the S&P will pay more in cash dividends in 2014 than in 2013 (again, they could cut).

There are now 421 issues paying a cash dividend in the S&P 500, the most since 423 in September 1998 (S&P 500 closed Sep,’98 at 1017).
(it was 473 when I started at S&P in 1977, when Berkshire Hathaway broke $100 – yes the one that now sells for $191,415 and last paid a dividend in 1962 of $0.10)

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our Disclaimers.

Today’s Economic Indicators not moving the dial on yields.

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Kevin Horan

Director, Fixed Income Indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices

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The yield on the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Index since its step down on May 13th as a result of Retail Sales has remained in a range of 2.48% to 2.58%.  There are a number of economic releases scheduled to follow the U.S. Memorial Day Holiday.  Today’s reporting of Durable Goods Orders (0.8% versus -0.7% expected), Consumer Confidence (83 as expected), Richmond (7 vs. 8 exp.) and Dallas (8 vs. 9.5 exp.) Fed Manufacturing, along with the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices has not moved the dial on yields as the 10-year is within the range at a 2.52%.

The rest of the week contains MBA Mortgage Applications (0.9% prior), GDP (-0.5% exp.), Initial Jobless Claims (317k, exp.), Personal Spending (0.2% exp.) and Chicago Purchasing Managers (61 exp.) coupled with the University of Michigan Confidence numbers (82.5 exp.) on Friday.  All releases have the possibility to potentially move the benchmark Treasury yield.

In addition to the economic releases, the U.S. Treasury will be auctioning both fixed and floating rate coupon 2-years, along with 5-year and 7-year notes.  News centering on the auctions and how the market receives the total issuance of $108 billion can be a factor.

The next reopening of the 30-year TIPS is scheduled for a June 19th auction and can’t come soon enough.  Investor demand has increased, as seen by the performance of the S&P U.S. TIPS Index which has returned 4.84% year-to-date.  As the Fed continues its promise to keep short rate low, the risk that inflation could increase in the long term will have investors paying closer attention to upcoming CPI releases.

Last week the S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index (TR) topped out at a year-to-date return of 9.87% before coming off the high and closing the week having returned 9.61%.  The downward days of the 21st to the 23rd for preferreds coincided with an upward movement of 1.5% in total return for the S&P 500.  Month-to-date the preferred index is returning 0.63%.

Activity in the new issue investment grade market continued its fast pace as household names such as Amgen, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Kimberly-Clark and Time Warner came to market.  A number of the fixed rate deals should find their way into the S&P U.S. Issued Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index.  The index has returned 0.85% month-to-date and 4.96% on the year.

The S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index and the S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index on the month continued to perform in lockstep as both indices have returned 0.63%.  The S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index is yielding 4.27% in comparison the 4.98% yield of high yield, but the leverage loan index is a much shorter instrument as it rebalances weekly in comparison to the 4 year duration of high yield.  Leverage loan’s market issuance slowed as arrangers focused on deals in the works rather than new issue business ahead of the U.S. Memorial Day Holiday.  On the other hand, High Yield’s primary market issuance was highly active as issuers rushed to lock in low rates before the long holiday weekend.  24 Hour Fitness, Cimarex Energy, CSC Holdings, DriveTime Automotive, Empresas ICA., Energy Transfer Equity, Inmarsat Finance, Live Nation Entertainment, Post Holdings, RBS, Rosetta Resources, Sanmina Corporation, Scientific Games International, Telecom Italia, and TransDigm Inc. are a number of the high yield names that came to market this week.  Year-to-date the S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index has returned 4.31%.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, Data as of 5/23/2014, Leveraged Loan data as of 5/26/2014.

 

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our Disclaimers.

Initial Q1,'14 S&P 500 stats:

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Howard Silverblatt

Senior Index Analyst, Product Management

S&P Dow Jones Indices

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With 95% of EPS reported and approximately 80% of the data items collected via S.E.C. documents:

Buybacks:
Buybacks are on track to be the second highest on record, as more companies do Share Count Reduction (SCR), therefore giving their EPS a tailwind. With over 90% of the issues reported, 119 issues have decreased their share count by at least 1%, with 25 increasing them at least that amount. For the Q1 2014 EPS period, 95 issues added at least a 4% EPS increase via a reduction of at least 4% in their average diluted share count, which is used for EPS calculation. Looking ahead to the Q2 2014 reporting season (off fiscals start in three weeks), I found 73 issues which have at least a 4% tailwind based on their Q1 2014 shares compared to their Q2 2013 shares – which (obviously) excludes any Q2 2014 share reduction. Keep in mind while it is easy to find issues which have enhanced their EPS via SCR (ie: 5% net income increase with a 10% EPS increase), the S&P 500 index adjusts for share counts, therefore limiting the impact of buybacks on index level EPS. Also, of a small, but growing concern on my side, are estimates which are not adjusted for share counts – therefore under estimating the EPS (net / larger share count), making the initial release appear as a beat. Analyst’s appear much more conscious of this than they were in 2006/7, but it is still an open issue.

Cash:
It had to happened – after six record quarters of cash holdings, S&P 500 Industrials (Old) are running 6% below Q4,’13, and could be less than Q3,’13 (making it the third highest). Cash levels are running at 8.9% of market value, and 90 weeks of the current 12 month net income – and earning very little as it sits on the side (attracting activists). Haven’t run cash-flow yet (one of the last items).

Capital Expenditures:
CapX is running 7% above Q1,’13, and 15% less than Q4,’13 (Q4,’13 was a record and Q1 typically runs lower). Oils and telecoms still dominate the expenditure. Don’t have a breakdown on the type of Q1 expenditure, but through 2013 it was mostly maintenance and related improved productivity items – no new plants or shifts (with the exception of the re-opening/re-expanding autos).

Pensions & OPEB:
A 29.6% stock gain for the S&P 500 and mixed interest rates combined to reduce pension funding (YTD 2014 has lower returns and lower interest rates). S&P 500 pensions appear to have cut their 2012 $451 billion record deficit in half. OPEB, which remains massively underfunded and is a pay-as-you-go expense, has improved, but is still less than 30% funded (note in WSJ on who pays for ACA). Combined, the $686 billion in underfunding from last year is coming in near the $400 billion area. More companies are fully funded, but still a minority. The discount rate up running 74 bps higher, with return rate down 20 bps.

Foreign:
Looks like 2013 was a tick higher on foreign sales, to the 47-48% level; still poor reporting.

Earnings:
Q1 2014 earnings are generally being considered a success – given that they did not fall apart. However, the expected gain in Q2 from delayed Q1 purchases has not yet shown up in economic data, and is concerning. Q2 2014 EPS estimates have been declining, but are still 4.2% above the record Q4 2013 Operating EPS, and 11.7% above the Q2 2013 level (again: buybacks don’t help the index EPS, but they do help on the issue level).

P.S. 60.4% of the time when the index makes a new high (when the prior day was not a new high), it goes on to make a new high the next day – which would be today (back-to-back). The stats on back-to-back-to-back is 54.9% (if it makes it to 2, today, than it makes it to 3, tomorrow).

The posts on this blog are opinions, not advice. Please read our Disclaimers.