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Tag Archives: dispersion

Dec 12, 2022

Examining the Effectiveness of Defensive Strategy Indices

What does history have to say about the effectiveness of factor indices as defensive tools? S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara explores defense beyond bonds and how defensive factors influence risk/return in different market environments.

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Nov 23, 2022

Understanding the Low Volatility Anomaly

Take a deep dive into the low volatility anomaly as S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara explains what the anomaly is, when and why it outperforms, and the role of dispersion in identifying potential opportunities.

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Sep 21, 2022

Tracking Trends with Indices

How can indices help investors understand what’s driving market trends amid inflation, rising rates, and volatility? S&P DJI’s Anu Ganti and Hamish Preston take a closer look at key trends and  what they could mean for active management and asset allocation moving forward.

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Jul 7, 2022

Tumultuous Trends

The S&P 500® posted its worst first-half performance since 1970,1 as inflation concerns, Fed rate hikes and slowing economic growth have weighed on markets. Mega caps were hit particularly hard, with the S&P 500 Top 50 posting a loss of 22%, underperforming the S&P 500 by 2%. Exhibit 1 shows that Information Technology was the…

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Jun 9, 2022

Opportunity to Outperform

It’s been a challenging year for U.S. equities as investors adjust to a new rising rate regime, with inflation concerns at the forefront, coupled with uncertainty around future economic growth. Market commentators have argued that this environment is ideal for stock pickers to shine. This argument is correct, but with a caveat. With the S&P…

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Mar 11, 2022

Style Perspectives In Vogue

U.S. equities have had a tough start to the year amid rising inflation concerns, anticipated rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, earnings misses from several mega-cap companies, and ongoing geopolitical tensions emanating from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Exhibit 1 shows that the S&P 500®, S&P MidCap 400®, and S&P SmallCap 600® all declined in the first…

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Mar 3, 2022

Kensho Correlations

The Wall Street Journal reported that many active managers struggled to outperform the market in 2021. This underperformance is not surprising, as we observed less than ideal prospects last year for active management both in the U.S. and globally. Dispersion and correlation provide convenient lenses through which to analyze stock selection conditions. All else equal,…

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Jan 12, 2022

No Safe Harbor for Stockpickers

We can use volatility and its components dispersion and correlation to analyze stock selection conditions globally. Most active managers run less diversified, more volatile portfolios than their index counterparts. Active managers should prefer above-average dispersion because stock selection skill is worth more when dispersion is high. The role of correlation is more subtle. While counterintuitive,…

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Dec 20, 2021

Active Management: Naughty or Nice?

The history of active investment management is, for the most part, a history of failure and frustration. Most active managers underperform most of the time, and success in one period seems not to predict subsequent success. We have long argued that active underperformance is not coincidental—it happens for identifiable and understandable reasons, and is therefore…

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Sep 13, 2021

Headwinds on the Active Horizon

Active managers’ performance was disappointing in 2020, despite the market’s heightened volatility. As the market continues to march upward in 2021, it’s natural to wonder if current conditions are favorable for stock pickers.  We expect active managers’ difficulties to persist. We can think of volatility in terms of its components: dispersion and correlation. Active managers…

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