Equity markets were mixed with large company indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials up for the week while small cap and growth companies declined.
Rapidly rising rates. Rising Treasury yields are weighing on the broader fixed income market. Yields have been climbing since August, but the pace really quickened in February. The 10‐year US Treasury yield rose 0.34% – the largest monthly gain since Nov. 2016 – to hit 1.40%, its highest level since Feb. 2020.
Over the last three months, we’ve experienced two additional noteworthy developments in the Department of Labor’s long-running, stop-and-start efforts to modernize the protections available to retirement plan participants. Those developments don’t finish the story; the DOL has promised more in “the coming days”. But they do merit a brief assessment of how this recent activity has affected the protections afforded to participants. We’ll be sure to expand on these impacts during the Fiduciary 15 webinar.
The rapid rise in bond yields is really making equity markets uneasy. As shown in the Market Snapshot table to the lower right, global equity markets were red for the final week of February, dropping around ‐2% to ‐5%.
I wanted to share this story as it is becoming more and more common. When I conduct 401(k) and retirement plan education meetings, the most frequent questions are:
Rising bond yields have begun to weigh on equities. Stock indices fell while bond yields continued to climb with the 10‐year U.S. Treasury yield closing the week at 1.34%, up from 1.2% last week and just 0.9% at the start of 2021.
Stocks advanced again this week with the S&P 500 up another +1.2% and closing at its 10th record high of the year. Small company stocks performed even better, gaining +2.5% to put them up nearly +16% in 2021.
Could the key to a successful financial wellness program for employees really be as simple as the lyrics to a Bruce Springsteen song? Maybe so.
January’s GameStop craze dissipated and equity volatility plunged as investors refocused on the potential for a big stimulus package, encouraging earnings results, and improving Covid‐19 vaccination and hospitalization data.
S&P 500 drops, volatility pops. After starting the month strong, global equity markets mostly gave up their gains as the month ended. The last week of January was the worst week for the S&P 500 since October and January was its first negative month in since October. Volatility (VIX) jumped from 21 to 37.