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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FundMarket
Jan 07, 2016 | Tom Roseen, Jeff Tjornehoj

Fed Refuses to Punt in the Fourth Quarter

Generally speaking, Q4 2015 was a poor quarter for bonds, since yields tended to rise across sectors (save for munis). But we’ve seen a rocky start for equities in the New Year (thanks, China!), which may portend a good chance for bond investors to make up lost ground.
FundMarket
Jan 06, 2016 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: December 2015

• For the fourth month in five equity closed-end funds (CEFs) and fixed income CEFs suffered downside performance on average, declining 2.87% and 0.29%, respectively, on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis for December.  

• For December only 10% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 6% of equity funds and 12% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The High Yield CEFs classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—369 basis points (bps) to 10.42%. 

• For the sixth consecutive month all Lipper municipal bond CEF classifications posted plus-side returns, with New Jersey Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.98%) once again posting the strongest return in the fixed income universe for December. 

• All the equity macro-groups posted returns in the red for December, with domestic equity funds (-3.65%) suffering the largest decline. Their world equity CEFs (-1.42%) and mixed-asset CEFs (-2.44%) counterparts remained in the red as well. 

• Energy MLP CEFs (-13.14%, November’s laggard) and Natural Resources CEFs (-9.73%) were the pariahs of the equity universe for December.  


FundMarket
Jan 05, 2016 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Suffer First One-Year Decline in Four

• For 2015 equity funds (-3.47% on average) posted their first annual loss in four years. U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (-2.10%) mitigated losses better for the year than Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications, followed by Mixed-Asset Funds (-2.35%), World Equity Funds (-3.89%), and Sector Equity Funds (-7.82%).

• The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed seven of the eight worst performing classifications in the equity universe for Q4, with Commodities Energy Funds (-15.85%) suffering the worst decline for the quarter. 

• For the first quarter in four USDE Funds (+3.99%) posted the strongest return of Lipper's four broad-based equity macro-classifications, while Sector Equity Funds (+1.38%) also managed to stay in the plus column.

• The Mixed-Asset Funds (-1.65%) macro-classification mitigated losses better than the other broad equity breakouts for December.


FundMarket
Dec 03, 2015 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: November 2015

• For the sixth month in seven equity and  fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) suffered downside performance on average, declining 1.93%  and 0.13%, respectively, on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis for November.  

• For November only 8% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 8% of equity funds and 8% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The World Income CEFs macro-classification witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month—186 basis points (bps) to 14.74%. 

• For the fifth consecutive month all Lipper municipal bond CEF classifications posted plus-side returns, with New Jersey Municipal Debt CEFs (+0.94%) posting the strongest return in the fixed income universe for November. 

• All the equity macro-groups posted returns in the red for November, with domestic equity funds (-2.38%) suffering the largest decline. Their mixed-asset CEFs (-0.66%) and world equity CEFs (-1.74%) brethren didn’t fare much better. 

• Energy MLP CEFs (-11.15%, October’s leader) and Natural Resources CEFs (-4.88%) were the cellar dwellers of the equity universe for November. 

FundMarket
Nov 06, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: October 2015

• For the first month in seven equity and  fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) posted plus-side returns on average, rising 5.97% and 1.07%, respectively, on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis for October.  

• For October 10% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 8% of equity funds and 11% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The World Income CEFs macro-classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--243 basis points (bps) to 12.88%. 

• For the fourth consecutive month all Lipper municipal bond CEF classifications posted plus-side returns, with High Yield Municipal Debt CEFs (+0.83%) posting the strongest return in the muni group in October. 

• All the equity macro-groups posted returns in the black for October, with domestic equity funds (+6.48%) outpacing their mixed-asset CEFs (+5.03%) and world equity CEFs (+5.46%) brethren. 

• Energy MLP CEFs (+11.11%, September’s laggard) and Natural Resources CEFs (+9.77%) rose to the top of the equity leader board for October. 


FundMarket
Oct 07, 2015 | Tom Roseen, Jeff Tjornehoj

Q3 Bond Fund Returns Mostly Disappoint

At the time of our last quarterly review the Greek debt crisis was once again front and center, spinning off volatility and vitriol as creditors and debtors slugged it out for supremacy. Now, just a few months later Greece’s problems seem like a bad dream that we’ve almost shrugged off. That’s probably wishful thinking, but a steady stream of positive economic data from the rest of the Continent has helped alleviate many concerns that the troika’s attempts to ring-fence the situation may have succeeded. Unfortunately, concern for Greece wasn’t all investors had on their minds this past quarter: a slowdown in China has sent shockwaves through the emerging markets and threatens the growth of our global economy.
 
Since the financial crisis, Chinese authorities have been congratulated for steering the world’s second largest economy through various setbacks while maintaining at least 7% annual growth. But those kudos ceased this past quarter when attempts to deflate a stock market bubble (brought on by excessive leverage by retail investors) led to plunging stock prices and a ham-handed currency devaluation that rocked world markets. China’s Q3 GDP is likely to come in below 7% (estimates range from 6.2% to 6.8%) as depressed commodity prices provide a forward-looking view of Chinese activity.

But across the Pacific the Federal Reserve’s decision not to raise rates confused and annoyed many investors who had figured recent volatility was proximately caused by expectations of higher rates immediately ahead. Despite unemployment falling to 5.1% by August, the Fed refused to budge, generally citing too-low inflation at home and the unfolding situation in China as reasons to hold the line one more time. 

FundMarket
Oct 05, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: September 2015

• For the second month running fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) witnessed a negative return on average, losing 0.29% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis, while their equity CEF counterparts—for the fifth consecutive month—were also in the red, losing 4.48% on average for September.  

• For September only 6% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 7% of equity funds and 6% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The domestic equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month—86 basis points (bps) to 11.41%. 

• For the third consecutive month Lipper's municipal bond CEF macro-group  (+0.99%) posted a plus-side return on average, with California Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.11%) posting the strongest return in the muni group and the fixed income universe. 

• None of the equity macro-groups were unscathed during this market rout. Nonetheless, mixed-asset CEFs (-2.46%) did better than their domestic equity CEFs (-5.64%) and world equity CEFs (-3.20%) brethren. 

• Real Estate CEFs (+0.80%) posted the only positive NAV-based return in the equity universe for the month, while for the second month in a row Energy MLP CEFs (-20.41%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
Oct 02, 2015 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Suffer Worst Quarterly Performance Since Q3 2011

• For Q3 2015 equity funds (-9.20% on average) posted their first quarterly loss in four. Mixed-Asset Funds (-5.64%) was at the head of the class for the first quarter in four, mitigating losses better than Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (-8.15%), Sector Equity Funds (-9.28%), and World Equity Funds (-11.24%).

• The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed two of the three best performing classifications in the equity universe. Alternative Managed-Futures Funds (+1.36%) and Real Estate Funds (+1.25%) posted the strongest returns of that group, surpassed only by Dedicated Short-Bias Funds (+16.47%). 

• As a result of global growth concerns, investors pushed Latin American Funds (-21.69%) and China Region Funds (-21.18%) to the bottom of the pack for the quarter.

FundMarket
Sep 03, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: August 2015

• For the third month in four fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) witnessed negative returns on average, losing 0.59% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis, while their equity CEF counterparts—for the fourth consecutive month—were in the red, losing 5.32% on average for August.  

• For August only 6% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 6% of equity funds and 5% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The World Equity CEFs macro-classification witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month—227 basis points (bps) to 14.42%. 

• For the second consecutive month Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications (+0.30%) posted a plus-side return on average, with California Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.20%) posting the strongest return in the muni group and the fixed income universe. 

• None of the equity macro-groups were unscathed during this market rout. Nonetheless, mixed-asset CEFs (-3.18%) did better than their domestic equity CEFs (-5.26%) and world equity CEFs (-6.83%) brethren. 

• Income & Preferred Stock CEFs (-2.46%) posted the strongest NAV-based return in the equity universe for the month, while Energy MLP CEFs (-8.10%) was at the bottom. 


FundMarket
Aug 05, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: July 2015

• For the first month in three fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) witnessed plus-side returns, gaining on average 0.45% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis, while their equity CEF counterparts—for the third consecutive month—were in the red, losing 0.72% on average for July.  

• For July only 6% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 8% of equity funds and 5% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The national municipal debt CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—119 basis points (bps) to 8.49%. 

• For the first month in four all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted plus-side returns, with New York Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.20%) posting the strongest return in the muni group and the fixed income universe. 

• Despite interest rate-increase concerns, mixed-asset CEFs (+0.77%) outshone their domestic equity CEFs (-0.80%) and world equity CEFs (-1.52%) brethren. 

• Real Estate CEFs (+2.92%) posted the strongest NAV-based return in the equity universe for the month, while Natural Resources CEFs (-6.70%) was at the bottom. 


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