FundMarket Insight Reports

Lipper FundMarket Insight Reports provide in-depth summaries and analysis of key economic and market events that help shape both fixed income and equity mutual fund performance trends. These monthly and quarterly reports allow you to view trends within the equity and fixed income fund universes, highlighted in detailed charts, graphs, and commentary.

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Report Type |
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FundMarket
Apr 10, 2015 | Tom Roseen, Jeff Tjornehoj

Oil Takes Bonds for a Wild Ride

We began 2015 where we left off 2014: watching oil prices slide in a tailspin as the world stood awash in too much oil. Beginning in June of last year, oil prices (such as the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate [WTI] crude as well as the global Brent) tumbled as U.S.-based production ramped up and OPEC’s Saudi leaders refused to scale back production. But what was begun by the Saudis as a means to protect market share by driving out higher-cost U.S. drillers turned into an all-out rout of oil producers at home and abroad. Suddenly, the heartland of America looked a little less stable than it did six months prior as energy-related job losses mounted. And the loss of a substantial means of funding in Russia pushed its leaders into economic and political crisis mode.

Both of those situations are bullish for Treasuries, as any uptick in unemployment (or even sluggish jobs growth) will tend to make the Federal Reserve reluctant to change the near-zero federal funds rate, and saber rattling always brings traders back to the safety of Treasuries.

The next source of trouble for oil, though, is any removal of sanctions against Iran. With 30 million barrels of oil sitting in tankers waiting to ship out and a sanctions agreement possible as early as June, a further halving of oil prices is not unquestionable. Look for Treasuries to rally as knock-on effects figure greatly.

FundMarket
Apr 06, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: March 2015

• March was an up-and-down month for equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs). Equity CEFs posted their third month of negative returns in four, declining on average 0.91% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, for the second month in three their fixed income counterparts managed to post a plus-side return on average, gaining 0.28%.  

• For March only 11% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's taxable bond CEFs macro-group witnessed the only narrowing of discounts for the month—18 basis points (bps) to 9.23%. 

• Back to their winning ways, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond CEFs (Leveraged) (+0.63%) witnessing the largest gain of the fixed income universe. 

• Mixed-asset CEFs (-0.12%) mitigated losses better than their world equity CEFs (-0.79%) and domestic equity CEFs (-1.17%) brethren. 

• Real Estate CEFs (+0.53%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Energy MLP CEFs (-3.24%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
Apr 02, 2015 | Tom Roseen

Despite an Increase in Volatility, Equity Funds Post Plus-Side Returns for Q1 2015

• For Q1 2015 equity funds (+2.56% on average) posted their second consecutive quarterly gain. World Equity Funds (+3.36%) jumped to the head of the class for the first quarter in six, outperforming Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+2.48%), Mixed-Asset Funds (+1.99%), and Sector Equity Funds (+1.34%).

• The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed two of the three best performing classifications in the equity universe: Health/Biotechnology Funds (+11.51%) and Global Health/Biotechnology Funds (+10.04%). 

• Despite ongoing geopolitical concerns, the ECB's quantitative-easing announcement and a strengthening dollar were supportive of foreign markets, and investors bid up Japanese Funds (+11.46%, the equity universe’s top-performing classification) and China Region Funds (+6.59%). 


FundMarket
Mar 04, 2015 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: February 2015

• Once again equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) went their separate ways in February. Equity CEFs posted their first month of plus-side returns in three, rising on average 3.19% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, their fixed income counterparts suffered a negative return on average, losing 0.05% for the month.  

• For February only 11% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's municipal bond CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month—25 basis points (bps) to 6.82%. 

• Breaking a 12-month trend, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the red, with New Jersey Municipal Bond CEFs (-1.78%) suffering the largest loss of the fixed income universe. 

• World equity CEFs (+3.78%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (+3.10%) and mixed-asset CEFs (+2.50%) brethren. 

• Core CEFs (+5.09%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Real Estate CEFs (-0.59%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
Feb 03, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: January 2015

• Equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) went their separate ways in January. Equity CEFs posted their second straight month of declines, dropping on average 0.73% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, their fixed income counterparts posted a plus-side return on average, rising 1.61% for the month.  

• For January only 13% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 12% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's municipal bonds CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—204 basis points (bps) to 6.57%. 

• Continuing a 12-month trend, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.98%) once again posting the best return. 

• Once again, mixed-asset CEFs (+0.27%) outpaced their world equity CEFs (-0.42%) and domestic equity CEFs (-1.17%) brethren. 

• Once again, Real Estate CEFs (+3.80%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Growth CEFs (-7.46%) was at the bottom. 


FundMarket
Jan 07, 2015 | Tom Roseen, Jeff Tjornehoj

Global Growth Worries Fuel Safe-Haven Bond Plays

Treasury funds and munis were all the rage in Q4 as investors bolted for safer assets while the global economy twisted in the wind.
FundMarket
Jan 06, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: December 2014

• For the first month in three both equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) on average posted returns in the red, with equity CEFs declining 1.43% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis and their fixed income counterparts losing 0.24% for the month.  

• For December only 10% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 8% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's domestic equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month--202 basis points (bps) to 9.02%. 

• Continuing an 11-month trend, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond CEFs (Leveraged) (+1.24%) posting the best return. 

• Once again, mixed-asset CEFs (-0.73%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (-1.15%) and world equity CEFs (-2.43%) brethren. 

• Once again, Real Estate CEFs (+0.83%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Energy MLP CEFs (-6.09%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
Jan 05, 2015 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Post Their Third Consecutive Year of Plus-Side Returns

• For Q4 2014 equity funds (+1.92% on average) posted their ninth quarterly gain in ten. U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+4.60%) jumped to the head of the class for the first quarter in four, outperforming Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: Mixed-Asset Funds (+1.18%), Sector Equity Funds (+0.25%), and World Equity Funds (-2.57%).

• The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed the four best performing classifications in the equity universe: Real Estate Funds (+13.00%), the short-bias Commodities Specialty Funds (+10.75%), Health/Biotechnology Funds (+10.00%), and Consumer Services Funds (+8.61%). 

• Despite ongoing geopolitical concerns , a strengthening dollar, and a massive drop in oil prices, investors continued to bid up China Region Funds (+4.88%) and India Region Funds (+4.59%), two of only six classifications in the World Equity Funds macro-classification posting plus-side returns for Q4. 

FundMarket
Dec 03, 2014 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: November 2014

• For the second consecutive month both equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) posted plus-side returns on average, with equity CEFs returning 0.22% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis and their fixed income counterparts gaining 0.04% for the month. 

• For November only 10% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 11% of equity funds and 9% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's domestic equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--64 basis points (bps) to 7.00%. 

• Continuing a ten-month trend, most of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with only New Jersey Municipal Bond CEFs (-0.09%) posting a negative return. 

• Once again mixed-asset CEFs (+1.03%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (+0.05%) and world equity CEFs (+0.12%) brethren. 

• Real Estate CEFs (+1.54%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Natural Resources CEFs (-4.73%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
Nov 05, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: October 2014

• For the second month in three both equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) posted plus-side returns on average, with equity CEFs returning 0.38% on a net asset value (NAV) basis and their fixed income counterparts gaining 0.89% for the month.  

• For October only 10% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 11% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's domestic equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--73 basis points (bps) to 7.64%.   

• For the tenth month in a row all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond (Leveraged) CEFs (+1.26%) posting the strongest return.       

• Once again mixed-asset CEFs (+1.10%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (+0.34%) and world equity CEFs (+0.05%) brethren.  

• Real Estate CEFs (+5.35%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month. 


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