What Is The Golden Link Between $275,000, 750 Million AND -32.8%?

The hint in the title is GOLD and the answer is the year 1981.  In 1981, a Superbowl ad was $275,000, 750 MILLION people watched Prince Charles and Lady Di get married and GOLD lost 32.8%.  In 2013, the cost of a Superbowl ad was $4 million, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed Prince George, Read more […]

Why Bubbles Aren’t as Dangerous Today

Both the surprisingly strong 2013 US stock market performance and the surging rebound in US home prices are sparking fears of another round bursting bubbles among many investors and market pundits.  While we don’t know the chances that either stocks or home prices will plunge in 2014, the collateral damage from either will be less Read more […]

A Battered Municipal Bond Market Enters 2014

Since the S&P Municipal Bond Index was launched in 2000 it never has had two years in a row of negative returns.  However, a new year begins with all the uncertainty and expectations of any other year.  Municipal bond funds are entering 2014 following a long string of monthly cash outflows indicating that retail investors Read more […]

ETFs poised to overtake Hedge Funds in 2014

If current trends continue, 2014 will herald a significant milestone for the ETF and hedge fund industries, as the total amount of capital invested in the former threatens to overtake the latter. Hedge funds search relentlessly to deliver on a promise of alpha while their privileged investors – supplying notoriously high fees and the tactical Read more […]

Commodities Countdown: Top 13 of 2013

Despite another year of flat performance from the S&P GSCI, it was a roller-coaster year with energy holding up the broad index while gold had its worst year since 1981.  Below are the top 13 stories from 2013: 13.  Risky Assets, Safe Havens or Lost Identities?   All commodities in the S&P GSCI and the DJ-UBS Read more […]

Misplaced Fears and Real Worries

The charts show the twin concerns of the Fed: inflation and unemployment.  Despite fears that easy money would send inflation surging, it is quietly fading away.  The real worry is unemployment. While declining, at 7% recently it remains above any estimate of full employment.  Low inflation and low unemployment can be in conflict with one-another.  Read more […]

A Review of the Financial Markets in 2013

As part of its ongoing review of the financial markets in 2013, S&P Dow Jones Indices recently published four video interviews with senior index analysts that examine the drivers of market performance in 2013 and the news and events that could impact returns in 2014. Market segments discussed during these interviews include: the U.S. equity Read more […]

What’s Shocking About Commodities In 2014?

As 2013 is wrapping up and we look out to 2014, there are some key questions about the drivers and opportunities in commodities in the coming year, as discussed in this interview. Below are some of the questions discussed PLUS a bonus question about metals. Q1: Jodie, let’s talk about commodity performance in 2013.  It looks Read more […]

Two Dimensions of Risk

Investors have long regarded the market’s overall level of volatility as an indication of its riskiness.  The S&P 500 VIX Index, in particular, is often referred to as a “fear gauge” for U.S. equities since it tends to rise when investors are nervous and to fall when the markets are quiescent. Although S&P 500 VIX Read more […]

Facebook Selling Into the S&P 500

Facebook (FB), the most-watched candidate for the S&P 500 all year, will join the index tomorrow night, December 20th , after the market closes. Once ETFs, index mutual funds and other index funds complete their buying – probably sometime next week – roughly 12% of FB’s shares will be held by indexers.  As many expected, Read more […]