Financial Professionals

Market Insights



January Capital Markets Calendar


A New Year’s Resolution to Pursue Income Using Bond Closed-End Funds

Since the first hint that the Federal Reserve would begin tapering its monthly bond buying program and long-term interest rates began to rise last May, investors have shunned all types of bonds and bond funds.

Market Insight: The FOMC, Morning After

I find it valuable to pause in reacting to grand macro events such as yesterday’s long awaited FOMC asset purchase moderation announcement.

Market Insight: While We Wait for the FOMC

Heading into this morning’s opening, there remains only eight-and-a-half trading sessions before the books close on 2013.

Bank Loans: A Stable, Long-Term Total Return History

Newfleet blog focuses on long-term total return history of bank loan market

November NFP Report

Last Friday morning, December 6, the Labor Department released the November nonfarm payrolls report.

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Simplicity

Newfound blog: the unreasonable effectiveness of simplicity when it comes to tactical or strategic portfolio construction.

European Manufacturing

Joe Terranova blogs about strength of Europe’s manufacturing data

Weekend Data from Asia

As the final month of 2013 begins, investors have some weekend economic data from Asia to digest: the November PMI manufacturing index from China and the November trade balance report from South Korea.

December Capital Markets Calendar


European Opportunities

As 2013 comes to a close, both the economic and asset recovery in Europe continues to defy skeptics.

FOMC Minutes

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 20, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes from its October 29-30 meeting.

Message from HD Earnings

On Tuesday morning, November 19, Home Depot Inc. (HD), the largest domestic home improvement retailer, reported Q3 earnings.

Weekend Reading: November 16-17

The S&P 500® Index (SPX) established another new all-time of 1791.53 on Thursday, November 14. Beginning Monday, November 18, there are only 30 trading days remaining in 2013.

Closed-End Equity Funds Overdue for Some Love

Strong year-to-date gains in broad-based equity indices are attracting increased media attention, now that interest in the U.S. budget and debt ceiling crises has temporarily waned.

October Nonfarm Payrolls

This morning the Labor Department released the October nonfarm payrolls report. During the month of October the United States government experienced a shutdown from October 1 until October 16.

Useful Capital Markets Charts

The following charts and tables are part of a capital markets presentation Joe recently gave to a group of financial advisors.

Comprehensive Weekend Reading

November has arrived, bringing with it the return of multiple economic data releases and an important central bank meeting in Europe.

SPX Earnings & Technical Update

Last Friday, October 25, the S&P 500® Index (SPX) (Figure 1) established both a new all-time closing high of 1759.77 and an intraday high of 1759.82.

September Nonfarm Payroll Report

Thanks to the D.C. dysfunction, the September nonfarm payroll report was released 18 days later than expected. Accordingly, the October report has been pushed back one week from Friday, November 1, to Friday, November 8.

Market Consequences of D.C. Dysfunction

Over the past few weeks, whether writing commentary or presenting to some of our clients, I have argued that the optimal strategy for investors was to largely ignore the D.C. dysfunction.

SPX Q3 Earnings 100/500

Markets head into Friday’s trade at historic highs and further bolstered by the overnight China Q3 GDP print of 7.8% growth, finally accelerating after Q2’s disappointing 7.5% print.

SPX Q3 Earnings, Transcript Highlights

As mixed messages continue to come from the kindergarten class running D.C.’s academic institution, my attention remains focused on the messages from Q3 earnings

With Bank Loans Near Par, Have They Lost Their Value?

Bank loans proved to be very resilient during this summer’s Treasury volatility and remain a leading fixed income sector for the year, returning 3.53% through September (S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index).

China Trade Balance, CPI

Heading into Q4, some of the recent economic data points out of China have suggested that the slowdown in growth which began in Q2 2012 could reaccelerate.

FOMC Minutes

Wednesday afternoon, October 9, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the minutes from its September 18-19 meeting.

Closed-End Funds Take Advantage of Bond Shakeout to Reposition

The fundamental advantages of closed-end funds’ "closed" capital structure include professional management and the ability to use leverage.

Joe Terranova's Q4 Market Playbook Now Available


Q3 Earnings: The Real Catalyst

The S&P 500® Index (SPX) continued to correct last week from its all-time high of 1729.86 established on the date of the last FOMC meeting, Wednesday, September 19.

U.S. September ISM Manufacturing

Tuesday morning, October 1, the Institute for Supply Management released its September factory index.

Rock Solid or Rocky? Oct Capital Markets Calendar


Read Ignites article on "Virtus’s Comeback Story Continues Amid Strong Flows"


S&P 500® Index Technical Formation

The S&P 500 (SPX) closed at 1701.84 on Monday, September 23, extending late last week’s weak trade with a 0.47% decline.

Momentum Everywhere

While we normally point to the persistence of momentum across asset classes, geography, and history as evidence that it must be an innate factor within market participants, I came across an interesting New York Times article from 2007 about a study that exhibited momentum in a very different field.

FOMC Supports Emerging Markets

On Wednesday afternoon, September 18, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its post-meeting statement absent of any asset purchase moderation.

2 Research Reports posted from Horizon Kinetics


Demand for Corporate Issuance Remains Strong

From our multi-sector vantage point, we continue to see very large corporate bond offerings come to market that not only fill, but are oversubscribed.

Essential Services Q3 Update

As the third quarter winds down, we offer our near-term outlook on the four global essential services sectors in with the Virtus Global Dividend Fund invests.

Holiday Bargains Come Early for Closed-End Funds

Stores may have started displaying their Halloween specials, but for closed-end fund investors, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Officially Back?

For those of us travelling on the highways and local roads in recent days, it certainly appears that the school year is “officially back.” It also appears, given the considerable traffic jams, that rising gasoline prices are not dampening demand. So much for price elasticity.

"Sell What in May and Go Away" Chart Work

Each year as the calendar approaches the month of May, many in the investment community suggest it is time to "sell equities in May and go away." However, in 2013, the optimal investment strategy aligned with "sell in May and go away" was to sell U.S. Treasuries.

August Labor Report

On Friday morning, September 6, the Department of Labor released its August labor report. Overall, the report did not meet consensus estimates and the prior month’s previously reported numbers were revised lower.

Strong Global Manufacturing Readings

While major U.S. equity exchanges were closed Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday, several global manufacturing readings were released.

September Capital Markets Calendar


September 2013 Capital Markets Calendar


Syria Impacts the Markets How?

Late Monday, August 26, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry alerted Syria that it would be held accountable for using chemical weapons. Subsequent price action for the S&P 500® Index (SPX) (Figure 1) has reversed the market’s attempt to restore July’s bullish momentum.

Emerging Markets

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) declined 2.65% this past week and is now down 11.6% for 2013. The MXEF declined on the week despite the late week stabilization for U.S. equity markets.

Five Charts to Watch

Since the release of my third quarter playbook “State of Confusion” in early July, it seemed as though the Fed-driven market confusion that began in late May had given way to clarity in the early stages of the third quarter.

Dual Mandate: Labor and Inflation

Thursday, August 15, presents a strong roster of economic data to give investors further insight into the potential for the FOMC to initiate tapering at its September 17-18 meeting.

Weather Report for Closed-End Funds

It has been a turbulent summer for closed-end funds, and the investment climate is still quite unsettled. The following is our take on the current weather and forecast for changing conditions, along with where we think investors can take advantage of climate change.


As Friday August 9, 2013 second quarter calendar earnings have been reported for 447 out of the 500 S&P 500 Index (SPX) companies.

Checking the Technicals

Global capital markets have experienced a strong start to the third quarter pushing many indices to new all-time highs.

July Nonfarm Payrolls

On Friday morning, August 2, the July Nonfarm Payroll report was released.

July U.S. ISM Manufacturing

The first few days of any month always seem to bring the most relevant, and market moving, economic data points. This month is certainly no exception.

July China PMI


Europe: One Year Later


SPX Earnings Scorecard


SPX Earnings Near the Quarter Pole

Approximately 102 companies in the S&P 500® Index (SPX) have reported earnings to date.

Commodities: Back to the Future?

For five years, the global economy has been suffering from the terrible impact of the greed of major investment banks in the USA and Europe.

Sector Charts

As of last night, global capital markets had experienced roughly one month’s worth of frustrating trading activity, highlighted by the S&P 500® Index (SPX) declining from an all-time high of 1687.18 on May 22 to a trough of 1560.33 on June 24.


Spot oil prices have surged nearly $15 for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude over the past few weeks. Technically, the recent rise presents a bullish formation for...

Closed-End Fund Discounts Widen as Investors Overreact to Rise in Interest Rates

Because there is an inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates, the recent rise in rates has triggered a decline in bond prices, hitting closed-end funds particularly hard. In fact, closed-end funds have suffered from two forms of overreaction.

Q3 Playbook Supplement – Part 1


Q3 Playbook Supplement – Part 2


U.S. Nonfarm Payroll Report

Just this past week, my Q3 playbook "State of Confusion" was released.

Equities Shouldn’t Fear Fed Taper

It’s been two weeks since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced on June 19 that the FOMC anticipates softening its unprecedented stimulus program, and hinted at plans to scale back its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases...

Market Complexity Magnitudes

At Newfound, we argue that for models to be successful and robust in uncertain environments, they must be based on simple heuristics tied to a fundamental or economic concept, not based on complex decision rules.

First of the Month U.S. Economic Data

This month, there might be some trepidation as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it clear that its intention to taper monthly bond purchases will be data dependent.

European & Asian Economic Data

The second half of 2013 begins with overnight economic data releases from Asia and Europe.

July 2013 Capital Markets Calendar


Spring Showers A Rebalancing Opportunity for REITs?

May and June to date has been a challenging period for REITs and other income-producing asset classes, driven by concerns that the Federal Reserve might start tapering its asset purchases later this year.

Q2 Ready to Close

In the wake of Wednesday’s FOMC meeting the S&P 500 Index (SPX) resumed the corrective behavior of the past few weeks.

Japanese Yen & the Nikkei

On May 22, 2013, the Japanese yen (Figure 1.1) traded to 103.74, its lowest level since October 3, 2008.

FOMC Meeting Expectations

This Tuesday, June 18, the FOMC holds its fourth meeting for 2013.

May Labor Report

This morning the U.S. Labor Department released the May employment report.

Outlook Remains Favorable for Global Essential Services

As we enter the final month of the second quarter, U.S. economic data has been somewhat mixed but is still showing signs of modest improvement.

Watching the Forest AND the Trees

Investors often ask us for the best way to approach closed-end fund investing. Does the traditional buy-and-hold strategy provide the best results or is active trading preferable?

May ISM Weakens

On Monday morning, June 3, the Institute for Supply Management reported the U.S. May ISM Manufacturing Index (Figure 1.1) at 49.0.

May Yields Spike, Now What?

Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury spiked 54 basis points during the month of May. Today (June 3), the 10-year sits at approximately 2.18%.

Weekend Asian Data Looks Better

The month of June begins with two important economic releases from Asia.

June Capital Markets Calendar


Late May Market Check

Even with last week's Fed-led jitters, the S&P 500 has managed to stay above 1600 since breaking through four weeks ago.

Rates Rise

On Wednesday morning, May 29, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury touched 2.2318%, its highest level since April 2012. Keep in mind, it was the late March 2012 price action that precipitated a larger, prolonged sell-off below 2% throughout 2012 and early 2013.

End-of-Week Economic Data

In the wake of Wednesday’s FOMC minutes release, increased speculation regarding when the FOMC will begin tapering its monthly asset purchase program has taken center stage in the business media.


The S&P 500® Index (SPX) traced a rather ugly intraday reversal on Wednesday.

CQ1 Earnings Summary

464 out of 500 S&P 500® Index (SPX) companies have reported earnings.

Empire Manufacturing & Industrial Production

The Empire (New York) Manufacturing Index contracted in May to (-1.43) after last month’s +3.05 reading. Consensus estimates for the report were +4.00.

Remaining Agile: Closed-End Funds Prepare for the Future

A key advantage of closed-end funds over open-end mutual funds is that portfolio managers are free to trade underlying holdings when they see fit.

Updated SPX Technical Formation

The S&P 500® Index (SPX) traced out another new all-time high yesterday at 1632.78. Over the past five days, leadership within the index has transitioned to year-to-date laggards: industrials, materials, and energy. I would also offer that an uptick in bullish sentiment seems far more present over the past week than at the beginning of the second quarter.

Currency Check

Last evening, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced its interest rate 0.25% to a now record 2.75%. Governor Glenn Stevens joins his central bank counterparts from the United States, Europe, and Japan in adopting easier monetary policy to carefully lower the value of his domestic currency. Keep in mind, historically the RBA favors higher rates relative to other developed economies in order to attract capital inflows to offset a 30-plus year streak of account deficits. read more....

Job Gains Suggest A Shift To Cyclicals?

On Friday morning, May 3, the Department of Labor released the nonfarm payroll report for the month of April. Over the past few days, a disappointing construction spending figure and a weaker than forecast ADP private payroll report reduced consensus estimates for monthly job gains. However, the surprise this past Friday morning was to the upside as a much stronger than forecast report was released.

First of the Month U.S. Economic Data

The FOMC concluded its two-day meeting this afternoon with a 2:00 p.m. statement that it will maintain its current pace of QE purchases at $85 billion per month. However,

April China Manufacturing PMI

Throughout 2013, the investment community has looked upon the world’s second largest economy, China, to present evidence of a sharp rebound in growth.

May 2013 Capital Markets Calendar


SPX Earnings Scorecard

As of Friday, April 26, 2013, 270 S&P 500® (SPX) companies had reported earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2013. Last week’s 170 companies reporting completed the largest earnings week of the season.

ECB Rate Cut is Priced In

The first three days of May present global markets with critical economic data releases and central bank meetings.

High Debt-To-GDP Implies Low Growth? Not So Fast…

An interesting rebuke to the oft-quoted 2010 paper “Growth in a Time of Debt”1 by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff was recently announced.

Earnings Scorecard

As of Friday, April 19, 102 S&P 500® (SPX) companies have reported earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2013.

Gold Selloff

Whether you have attended an investment conference at which I presented, or read my blogs and quarterly commentaries, you certainly understand my viewpoint on the allocation of gold in a portfolio.


Sunday evening, April 14, 2013, first quarter GDP for China (Fig 1.1) was reported at 7.7%, below consensus estimates for 8% growth and the 7.9% reported for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Joe Terranova's 2nd Qtr Playbook is available


The Other “D” Word in Closed-End Funds

When investors think closed-end funds, the word discount often comes to mind.

Utilities, Continued Disbelief

The utilities sector continues to outperform all major U.S. equity indices, as well as the majority of its sector peers except health care and consumer staples.

Shift to Cyclicals?

It’s rare for a powerful equity rally to be led by non-cyclical sectors such as consumer staples and utilities, as we’ve recently seen.

Here We Go Again?

The Labor Department released its March payroll data this past Friday. Let’s take a look at the data…

Weather, Earthquakes, and Portfolio Risk Management

In his book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t, Nate Silver discusses the many subtleties of developing and utilizing predictive models.

Q2 Begins With China PMI & U.S. ISM

The second quarter begins today with much caution for a potentially similar market and economic slowdown experienced in each of the prior three years during Q2.

April 2013 Economic Calendar


South Korea Seeking Balance

The late December reintroduction of the global carry trade, with the Japanese yen assuming the funding currency role, remains one of the strongest tailwinds for the current S&P 500® Index (SPX) appreciation.

FOMC Preview

Today and tomorrow, March 19-20, the FOMC begins a two-day meeting.

Charts presented at March due diligence meetings


Initial Jobless Claims

On Thursday, March 14, the weekly Initial Jobless Claims figures (Figures 1.1 & Fig 1.2) were reported as follows

Labor Participation Rate Declines Further

Friday morning, March 8, 2013, the Department of Labor released the February jobs report. Let’s take a look…

Closed-End Funds: Fact or Fiction? – Part 2

Part 1 of our special two-part series presented common misconceptions about investing in closed-end funds. In Part 2, we dig a little deeper, testing your knowledge about some of the choices frequently facing closed-end fund shareholders that may be unfamiliar, even confusing.

15 Years of SPX Data

On Tuesday, March 5, 2013, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) (Figure 1.1) traded to an all-time intraday high of 14,286.37.

Healthy Outlook for Global Real Estate Sector

Global real estate delivered healthy total returns in 2012 relative to global equities.

U.S. ISM Manufacturing

On Friday morning, March 1, 2013, the U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index (Figure 1.1) for February activity was reported at 54.2.

Emerging Markets Debt Remains Attractive

The emerging markets (“EM”) debt asset class is an approximately $2.5 trillion market – twice the size that it was in 2008, and twice the size of the U.S. high yield market today.

China PMI

The China Purchasing Managers’ Index (Figure 1.1) for February recorded a 50.1, below last month’s 50.4 and consensus estimates for 50.5.

March 2013 Economic Calendar

Joe Terranova March 2013 Economic Calendar

Blaring Bell

Last Wednesday, February 20, the S&P 500® Index (SPX) traced out an intraday reversal lower (Figure 1.1) that ever so faintly rang the “pause in appreciation” bell.

Updated Earnings & Performance Tables

As of the close of business Friday February 22, 2013 here are some meaningful performance and earnings tables.

Basic Materials Underperform

The S&P 500® Index (SPX) traded down (-1.24%) to close at 1511.95 on Wednesday, February 20, 2013.

1975/1976 & SPX Technical Formation

The most obvious observation for any money manager currently is the possibility for an S&P 500® Index (SPX) correction.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Not a day passes that the counter argument to the current S&P 500® Index (SPX) rally isn’t presented.

Euro Currency Appreciation

This morning, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi acknowledged exactly what I have recently grown concerned over, sharp euro currency appreciation.

February 2013 Calendar


Updated SPX Earnings Scorecard

Three weeks of Q4 2012 earnings have now been recorded.

Off Target

Over the past few days, it seems the conversation is intensifying on whether the FOMC will shift monetary policy faster than previously expected.

February 2013 Calendar


FOMC & U.S. Jobs Preview

Tomorrow’s first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of 2013 will conclude with an afternoon statement release.

SPX Earnings Scorecard to Date

The second week of the earnings season is set to close out. Below is the reported EPS and revenue growth by sector as well as....

Global Currency Indicator

The greatest challenge to investors right now is to remain committed to a portfolio strategy that is working well year to date. Unfortunately...

Natural Gas

Yesterday, the Energy Information Administration reported that stockpiles (Figure 1.1) of domestic natural gas fell 148 billion cubic feet to 3.168 trillion.

Earnings to date, Financials

Over the past month, I have often stated that it works in favor of further S&P 500® Index (SPX) (Figure 1.1) appreciation to...

China Trade Data

Overnight markets have a strong bid, potentially positioning the S&P 500® Index (SPX) to challenge the current high for the year from January 4 at 1467.94. The catalyst is the China...

Touchdown on the Opening Drive

Pessimists generally flip the calendar into January with trepidation.

Earnings Season Begins

This Tuesday, January 8, earnings results from the calendar fourth quarter of 2012 will begin to be reported.

Closed-End Funds: 2012 Review and 2013 Predictions

Several dominant trends for the closed-end fund industry in 2012 are expected to continue into 2013

Mispricing of Interest Rate Risk Adds to Bank Loan Sector’s Yield Appeal

In our view, interest rate risk deserves as much attention as credit risk when investing in fixed income markets. Investor demand for yield and, in the case of investment grade corporate bonds and Treasuries, “safety” has driven bond prices to all-time highs and yields to corresponding lows.

The Debt Ceiling Strategy

As expected, D.C. policy makers passed legislation to avoid a fiscal drag of $600 billion due to the expiring Bush era tax cuts and pending automatic spending cuts.

2013 Capital Markets Stat Sheet

n preparation for the markets’ opening in 2013, below is a summary and charts of 2012 performance for select world equity indices, treasuries, currencies, commodities, and sector ETFs.

Virtus Investment Partners provides this communication as a matter of general information. The opinions stated herein are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions of Virtus, its affiliates or its subadvisers. Portfolio managers at Virtus make investment decisions in accordance with specific client guidelines and restrictions. As a result, client accounts may differ in strategy and composition from the information presented herein. Any facts and statistics quoted are from sources believed to be reliable, but they may be incomplete or condensed and we do not guarantee their accuracy. This communication is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security, and it is not a research report. Individuals should consult with a qualified financial professional before making any investment decisions.