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 |
Publish Date | Author Name
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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. 


FundMarket
Jul 07, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj, Jeff Tjornehoj

Greek Debt: Comedy and Tragedy in Many Acts

Given a scenario in which Greece steps closer to a euro exit, Puerto Rico’s governor announces that his island cannot possibly pay its debt, and stocks in one very large country (China) violently spiral lower, one might have thought Treasuries would rally out of all of that chaos. Instead, Treasury activity implied that each of those events would have a limited effect on global wealth, at least for the time being. China, for example, has seen the Shanghai Composite rise almost 60% this year (despite lackluster fundamentals), so the recent selloff is not all that surprising.

No, Treasury-related funds suffered through a disappointing quarter because investors believe the Federal Reserve is getting closer to raising the Fed funds rate in September. Leading up to quarter-end, William Dudley (president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York),said recent wage gains and growing household spending had assuaged some of his concerns about America’s jobs market. Other governors voiced similar support for a possible rate hike before year-end, although no one sounded completely sure it would be done.

FundMarket
Jul 06, 2015 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: June 2015

• For the second consecutive month both equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) suffered negative returns, with equity funds losing on average 2.84% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis, while their fixed income counterparts lost 0.74% on average.  

• For June only 5% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 7% of equity funds and 4% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's World Equity CEFs macro-classification witnessed the smallest widening of discounts for the month—19 basis points (bps) to 11.61%. 

• For the third consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the red, with Intermediate Municipal Debt CEFs (-0.22%) mitigating losses better than the other classifications in the muni group. 

• Despite the Greek debt drama, world equity CEFs (-2.04%) mitigated losses better than their mixed-asset CEFs (-2.11%) and domestic equity CEFs (-3.41%) brethren. 

• Growth CEFs (+0.68%) posted the only positive return in the equity universe for the month, while Energy MLP CEFs (-8.85%) was at the bottom.


FundMarket
Jul 02, 2015 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Just Manage to Post Plus-Side Returns for Q2 2015

• For Q2 2015 equity funds (+0.09% on average) posted their third consecutive quarterly gain. World Equity Funds (+1.22%) was at the head of the class for the second quarter in a row, outpacing Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+0.03%), Mixed-Asset Funds (-0.66%), and Sector Equity Funds (-1.80%).

• The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed four of the five best performing classifications in the equity universe, with Commodities Energy Funds (+9.27%, the equity universe’s top-performing classification) and Commodities Agricultural Funds (+5.28%) posting the strongest returns of that group. 

• Despite ongoing geopolitical concerns, investors bid up China Region Funds (+7.64%) and Japanese Funds (+3.95%) during the quarter. 


FundMarket
Jun 03, 2015 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: May 2015

• For the first month in six both equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) suffered negative returns, with equity funds losing on average 0.10% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis, while, their fixed income counterparts lost 0.21% on average.  

• For May only 9% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 10% of equity funds and 8% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper’s World Equity CEFs macro-classification witnessed the smallest widening of discounts for the month—9 basis points (bps) to 11.42%. 

• For the second consecutive month all of Lipper’s municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the red, with High Yield Municipal Debt CEFs (-0.15%) mitigating losses better than the other classifications in the muni group. 

• Mixed-asset CEFs (+0.64%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (-0.17%) and world equity CEFs (-0.42%) brethren. 

• Convertible Securities CEFs (+1.89%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Natural Resources CEFs (-3.53%) was at the bottom. 

FundMarket
May 05, 2015 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: April 2015

• April was an up month for equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs). Equity CEFs posted their second month of positive returns in three, gaining on average 2.07% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive month their fixed income counterparts just managed to post a plus-side return on average, gaining 0.06%.  

• For April only 12% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 10% of equity funds and 13% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper’s World Equity CEFs macro-classification witnessed the only widening of discounts for the month—29 basis points (bps) to 11.32%. 

• In an about-face from March all of Lipper’s municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the red, with General & Insured Municipal Debt CEFs (Unleveraged) (-0.41%) mitigating losses better than the other classifications in the muni group. 

• World equity CEFs (+3.56%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (+1.83%) and mixed-asset CEFs (+0.50%) brethren. 

• Natural Resources CEFs (+6.05%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Real Estate CEFs (-1.84%) was at the bottom. 


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

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. 

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