Strengthening demand, so-so supply – this is the municipal bond market
in a nutshell. The result of this imbalance is rising muni prices, as
more cash in the market chases fewer securities available for purchase.
The total return for the asset class was just under 4% through the first
five months of the year; this compares to a 0.2% total return for all of
Investors hoping for a surprise out of this week’s Federal Reserve
meeting are not going home disappointed. As anticipated, the Fed voted
to raise short-term interest rates by another quarter-point. This latest
rate increase is the fourth in a slow tightening trend that began in
Since early March 2009, the best answer for equity investors has been
U.S. large caps. In fact, The Standard & Poor’s 500 has returned more
than 300% since the post-financial crisis bottom. Nowadays, however,
that answer is being called into question.
U.S. large-cap stocks have been strong performers so far in 2017.
Through Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up nearly 9% on a
total-return basis. But that number might have a casual market-watcher
wondering, “Really? Only 9%?”