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Key Asset Class Performance: February, Year-To-Date and Last 12 Months

FYI: The first two months of 2016 have now come and gone, and below we provide a nice snapshot of how various asset classes have performed this year using key ETFs traded on U.S. exchanges. For each ETF, we include its February, year-to-date, and year-over-year percentage change. ETFs on the left side of the matrix are mostly U.S. equity related, while ETFs on the right represent international equities, commodities and fixed income.


  • edited March 2016
    The demand for safe assets dominated asset flows in February. The main beneficiary of the risk-off trade last month: foreign government bonds in developed markets. Citigroup’s World Gov’t Bond Index ex-US surged 4.0% in February (unhedged US dollar total return). The gain also pushed this slice of the fixed-income market into first place for the trailing one-year period with a 1.7% increase.

    Bonds generally were in high demand last month. The only corner of fixed income that didn’t deliver a gain in February: foreign junk.

    As for equities, all the broad categories lost ground last month.


    Also. Returns from M*
    SPDR® Nuveen S&P High Yield Municipal Bond Etf HYMB
    1 mo +0.62 Ytd +0.76 1 Yr +3.54 3 Yr +3.76

    Alerian M L P Etf AMLP
    1 mo +0.77 Ytd -13.03 1Yr -34.75 3 Yr - 9.60

    U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Move Higher
    Petroleum prices stabilized last week following steady declines since the June highs. Regular gasoline averaged $1.78 per gallon last week (-27.9% y/y)
    Prices for natural gas continued to decline last week to $1.78 per mmbtu (-42.2% y/y), and were $1.62 yesterday.
    More Weekly Energy Prices as of 02/29/16 @ below link


    Related.New markets for American Nat Gas

    The Asia Vision LNG carrier ship sits docked at the Cheniere Energy Inc. terminal in this aerial photograph taken over Sabine Pass, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Cheniere said in a statement last month. Cheniere Energy Inc. expects to ship the first cargo of liquefied natural gas on Wednesday to Brazil with another tanker to be loaded a few days later, marking the historic start of U.S. shale exports Photographer: Lindsey Janies/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    The United States is shipping gas overseas for the first time in decades, but private companies sell to the highest bidder — and not just to the countries Washington might want for geopolitical reasons.
    Oil News
    ExxonMobil’s record bond sale. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) made a big move with a $12 billion bond sale, its largest on record. The world’s largest publically-traded oil company could use the cash to buy up assets on the cheap. Exxon held its cards close to the vest, saying that the proceeds would be used for “funding for working capital, acquisitions, capital expenditures, refinancing a portion of our existing commercial paper borrowings and other business opportunities.” ExxonMobil still has a AAA credit rating, one of the few companies in existence to have the highest rating possible, but S&P issued a “negative” rating in early February.
    Saudi cash reserves fall. Saudi foreign reserves continue to dwindle as the OPEC nation tries to shore up its finances and maintain its currency peg. In January, Saudi Arabia’s foreign exchange dipped below $600 billion for the first time in four years, according to the latest estimates. The government is burning through cash reserves at a rate of about $14.3 billion per month.
  • edited March 2016
    The most maligned market over the recent year and longer (junk corporate bonds) up for February. How can that be??? Looks like they are leading equities YTD and already (even before today) numerous open end junk bond funds are positive YTD. 2/11 is looking more and more like it was the day! For better or worse oil is the driver.
  • @Junkster It looks like everybody is jumping ship on Treasuries today and buying junk. Did you start this?
  • edited March 2016
    SlowLane said:

    @Junkster It looks like everybody is jumping ship on Treasuries today and buying junk. Did you start this?

    We both started on 2/12. This may surprise you. I hold 4 junk funds - my largest is PYHRX (doesn't accumulate daily) PHYDX, EIHIX ( I said never again a fee fund but) and JAHYX (not banned there in my taxable. You will notice no MWHYX. It's action last Tuesday was enough for me. A fun ride let's hope we don't have to cut and run and oil behaves itself.

  • I meant to say "Did you instigate this exodus from Treasuries to junk?"

    You pick some good funds. I am in ABHIX, along with PHYDX and EIHIX.
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