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
Report Name (click to expand)
FundMarket
Jul 07, 2014 | Jeff Tjornehoj, Jeff Tjornehoj

A Half-Year Performance That’ll Be Hard to Repeat

Bond markets continued to build off Q1 2014’s fast start. Bond fund groups of all stripes did well, ranging from the Inflation-Protected Bond Funds’ 3.18% climb and a solid 2.12% return from High Yield Funds; municipal debt funds (+2.37%) had a fantastic quarter also.

But at the halfway point of the year it’s tough to argue for a repeat performance for the second half of the year: corporate bond spreads are pretty tight as junk bond spreads look especially skinny—under 350 basis points (bps)—and Treasuries themselves offer little wiggle room if the troubles in Ukraine settle down and sectarian violence in Iraq continues away from the valuable oil fields. And though it’s unclear how much of this year’s rally has come at the expense of bond bears, they’ve definitely been squeezed, and performance in the coming quarters could surprise to the downside if their short-covering provided more than just a modest lift for Q2.
FundMarket
Jul 03, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: June 2014

• For June only 12% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 10% of equity funds and 13% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's world income CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--24 basis points (bps) to 8.64%. 

• For the fifth consecutive month equity and fixed income CEFs posted plus-side returns, with equity CEFs returning 2.64% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 0.39% for the month. 

• Breaking a five-month trend where all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, four of the nine classifications in this group suffered NAV-based losses for June, with New Jersey Municipal Debt CEFs (-0.23%) experiencing the largest decline. 

• World income CEFs (+0.88%) narrowly outpaced the domestic taxable fixed income CEFs group (+0.82%) and handily outperformed their municipal debt CEF counterparts (+0.01%) for the month.  

• Energy-related securities drove domestic equity CEFs (+3.21%) to the head of the class during the month. 


FundMarket
Jul 02, 2014 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Rise for an Eighth Consecutive Quarter

• Equity funds (+4.04% on average) posted a plus-side return for Q2 2014. Sector Equity Funds (+5.62%) remained at the head of the class for the second quarter in a row, outpacing Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: World Equity Funds (+4.46%), U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+3.42%), and Mixed-Asset Funds (+3.32%).

• Dedicated Short-Bias Funds (-9.57%), Commodities Agriculture Funds (-5.72%), Commodities Specialty Funds (-0.60%), and Alternative Equity Market Neutral Funds were the only equity classifications to suffer losses for the quarter.

• Despite increasing geopolitical concerns, investors once again embraced India Region Funds, pushing the classification to the top of the equity charts (+18.26%) for the first quarter in 20. 


FundMarket
Jun 03, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: May 2014

• For May only 12% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 12% of equity funds and 11% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—105 basis points (bps) to 8.33%. 

• For the fourth consecutive month equity and fixed income CEFs posted plus-side returns, with equity CEFs returning 2.09% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 1.96% for the month.  

• For the fifth consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Debt CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.65%) once again outpacing the other classifications in the group. 

• World income CEFs (+2.45%) narrowly outpaced the municipal debt CEFs group (+2.43%) and handily outperformed their domestic taxable fixed income CEF counterparts (+1.25%) for the month.  

• Despite continued geopolitical concerns during the month, Emerging Markets CEFs (+4.40%) rose to the head of the CEFs universe for May. 

FundMarket
May 06, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: April 2014

• For April only 11% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 10% of equity funds and 11% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's High Yield CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--185 basis points (bps) to 5.47%. 

• For the third consecutive month equity and fixed income CEFs posted plus-side returns, with equity CEFs returning 1.25% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 1.56% for the month.  

• For the fourth consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Debt CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.44%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+2.22%) outpaced their domestic taxable fixed income CEF (+0.70%) and world income CEF (+1.15%) counterparts for the month.  

• Despite slight declines in crude oil prices during the month, Natural Resources CEFs (+4.11%) and Energy MLP CEFs (+3.59%) rose to the head of the CEFs universe for April. 

FundMarket
Apr 04, 2014 | Jeff Tjornehoj, Jeff Tjornehoj

Best Q1 for the Aggregate Since 2008

• Munis turned a corner as buyers came back to the asset class. Lipper's High Yield Muni Debt Funds classification returned 5.25% to become Q1's best-performing funds group. 

• Munis would not have risen so high if Treasuries hadn't rallied. Yields on the ten-year note settled down from 3.04% on December 31, 2013, to 2.73% on March 31, 2014, to help General U.S. Treasury Funds gain 3.63% for the quarter.

• High Yield Funds was good—not great. The 2.61% gain for the group was below the investment-grade groups’ returns.

• International Income Funds (+2.32%) looked very good for the quarter. Investors eked out a few more basis points (bps) in Emerging Markets Hard Currency Debt Funds (+2.44%) but had to weather more volatility to do so.

FundMarket
Apr 03, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: March 2014

• For March only 11% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 11% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's Single-State Municipal Bond CEFs macro-classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--28 basis points (bps) to 8.28%. 

• For the second consecutive month equity and fixed income CEFs stayed on common paths in March, with equity funds returning 1.03% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 0.71% for the month.  

• For the third consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with Pennsylvania Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.01%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+0.68%) outpaced their domestic taxable fixed income CEF counterparts (+0.56%) for the month.  

• Despite continued geopolitical concerns, World Equity CEFs (+1.63%) and World Income CEFs (+1.71%) remained ahead of their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for March. 

FundMarket
Apr 02, 2014 | Tom Roseen

Equity Funds Just Manage to Post a Seventh Consecutive Quarter of Positive Returns, Despite an Uptick in Market Uncertainty

• Equity funds (+1.47% on average) posted a plus-side return for Q1 2014, with Sector Equity Funds (+4.05%) jumping to the head of the class for the first quarter in 17. It handsomely outshone Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: Mixed-Asset Funds (+1.47%), U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+1.33%), and World Equity Funds (+0.40%).

• Dedicated Short-Bias Funds (-4.56%), Japanese Funds (-4.45%), and China Region Funds (-4.40%) were the big losers for the quarter.

• On weather-related concerns Commodities Agriculture Funds (+16.15%) jumped to the top of the leader board, followed closely by one of Q4 2013's laggards: Precious Metals Equity Funds (+12.21%).


FundMarket
Mar 05, 2014 | Jeff Tjornehoj

The Month in Closed-End Funds: February 2014

• For February only 10% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 10% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The High Yield CEFs classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--117 basis points (bps) to 6.90%.

• Equity and fixed income CEFs merged onto common paths in February for the first month in four, with equity funds returning 3.59% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 1.86% for the month. 

• For the second consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Debt CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.28%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+2.05%) outpaced their domestic taxable CEF counterparts (+1.42%) for the month. 

• Despite increasing geopolitical concerns in Ukraine, World Equity CEFs (+3.72%) and World Income CEFs (+2.81%) jumped ahead of their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for February.

FundMarket
Feb 05, 2014 | Tom Roseen

The Month in Closed-End Funds: January 2014

• For January only 9% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 8% of equity funds and 9% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The World Equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month--63 basis points (bps) to 10.76%.

• Equity and fixed income CEFs continued on separate paths in January, with equity funds losing 1.57% on a NAV basis (registering their first monthly loss since August 2013), while their fixed income counterparts returned 2.56% for the month. 

• For the first month in four all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with California Municipal Debt Funds (+4.35%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+3.95%) outpaced their domestic taxable CEF counterparts (+1.27%) for the month. 

• With greater scrutiny on emerging markets, World Equity CEFs (-4.05%) and World Income CEFs (-1.16%) lagged their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for January.

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