“Different Directions” and “When Rates Rise” Market Commentary

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The No-Load Fund Investor June 2013

Mark Salzinger’s The No-Load Fund Investor had interesting commentary in the latest June, 2013 issue with article entitled “Different Directions” and “When Rates Rise.” In “Different Directions” he wrote:

The U.S. stock market rose in May, while most foreign markets declined. The S&P 500 index rose about 2%. While most sectors gained, conspicuous exceptions were two of the market’s most ostensibly ‘defensive’ sectors—consumer staples and, especially, utilities, representative exchange traded funds of which were down 1.7% and 9.1%, respectively. Real estate investment trusts also fell broadly; the real estate funds we cover dropped an average of 5.6% during the month. However, high-yielding stocks as a whole produced an average gain of about 0.7%.

While some European markets produced gains, Japan, the Australia/New Zealand region and the emerging markets produced significant losses. Japan fell big, following a huge rally driven over the past several months by loose monetary policy. The others fell due to sensitivity to slowing growth in China, along with (in the case of some emerging markets) their own lower than expected growth rates along with significant inflationary pressures.

Intermediate and long-term bonds had a lousy month. Long-Term Treasuries lost nearly 7%. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities lost more than 4%.Municipal bond indexes lost more than 3%, as did long-term corporates. Funds that invest mainly in dollar-denominated emerging market bonds lost more than 3%, while those that emphasize emerging market bonds in local currencies lost twice as much, as currencies depreciated throughout emerging countries.

And in “When Rates Rise” he wrote:

The yield of the 10-year Treasury note rose by 37 basis points, to 2.13% from 1.76%, in May. Meanwhile, global bond markets were slammed. …

Meanwhile, the gains produced by the U.S. equity market in May belie the belief of many market observers that a meaningful increase in intermediate- and long-term interest rates would sabotage the stock market.

Great market commentary.

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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.