Tag Archives: S&P 500

Happy Birthday to the Communication Services Sector

The Communication Services sector turns one year old on Sept. 24, 2019. A year ago, the Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS®) replaced the old Telecommunication Services sector with a new Communication Services sector, which combined telecom with some companies that had formerly been classified in the Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. As a result, Read more […]

Have Passive AUMs Eclipsed Active?

“You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse.” Julius Caesar, Act 3 This morning’s Wall Street Journal declared that “Index Funds Are the New Kings of Wall Street.”  The coronation, and similar notes of the “end of an era,” were prompted by Morningstar Read more […]

Using Sectors To Express Views

The S&P 500® is up 21.42% year-to-date and is within striking distance of its all-time high.  Although this may suggest the presence of a strong “risk-on” environment, there are signs that the bull market’s stride is changing.  Defensive assets have fared relatively well amid concerns over economic growth and trade tensions, while the inversion of Read more […]

Mapping the S&P 500 Trading Ecosystem

A new paper published today provides a new perspective on the active usage of products linked to S&P DJI indices, and illustrates the network of liquidity that has developed around the S&P 500® and other popular benchmarks. “Active” and “passive” are colloquial terms, and it can be hard to distinguish one from the other at Read more […]

The Calm That Was

Through the end of July, equities had netted a nice gain for 2019 (though the picture looks a lot different so far in August). Unusually, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index® outperformed in an environment when it has typically lagged its benchmark. (The S&P 500 gained 20.2%, while the low volatility index was up 20.8%, Read more […]

Beyond Equal Weighting: Reverse Cap Weighting the S&P 500

Consistently outperforming the S&P 500® is difficult. The S&P Dow Jones Indices SPIVA report shows that less than 18% of funds outperformed the S&P 500 (SPX) over the five-year period ending 12/31/2018. So how is it that the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index (SPEWI), a passive index comprised of the very same 500 stocks, accomplished Read more […]

Cboe S&P 500 Buffer Protect Indexes: First Outcome Period Recap

On June 28, 2019 the July Series of the Cboe S&P 500 Buffer Protect Indexes completed their first one-year outcome period (6/28/18 – 6/28/19). The Cboe S&P 500 Buffer Protect Indexes are designed to afford investors defined exposures to the S&P 500 Price Index, where the downside buffer levels, upside growth potential, and outcome period Read more […]

Concentration Concerns

Readers of this morning’s Wall Street Journal learned (on the front page, no less) that many of the largest investors in the U.S. equity market hold similar portfolios.  “The overlap in the top 50 stockholdings between mutual funds and hedge funds…now stands at near-record levels, a study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found.”  An Read more […]

Sector Analysis of the S&P MidCap 400®

U.S. mid-cap equities – as represented by the S&P MidCap 400 – outperformed both their larger and smaller counterparts since the early 1990s.  In decomposing relative returns, sector analysis can be useful to understand the drivers of performance.  For example, the S&P MidCap 400’s underweight position in Information Technology at the start of the 21st Read more […]

The Heat Is On for High Yield in July

All bonds are not the same, and when it comes to high yield they can be more like equity than fixed income at times. High yield’s lower credit ratings and reliance on funding add risk, and some investors have relied on this asset class over the past couple of years in search of yield. An Read more […]