U.S. Equities Market Attributes November 2023

Mexico Fixed Income Commentary: Q3 2023

S&P Target Date Scorecard: Mid-Year 2023

iBoxx USD Asia Ex-Japan Monthly Commentary: October 2023

iBoxx Asian Local Currency Indices Monthly Commentary: October 2023

U.S. Equities Market Attributes November 2023

Contributor Image
Howard Silverblatt

Senior Index Analyst, Product Management

S&P Dow Jones Indices

Key Highlights

Exhibit 1: Index Returns - U.S. Equities November 2023


There were two turkeys served this November; one was on Thanksgiving, and the other for anyone who sold short for the month (similar to June and July).  Then again, depending on their positions, the gains from shorts in the prior three months of losses (-8.61%) may have made up for November’s gain (8.92%, -0.46% net); as for the YTD 18.97% gain, maybe they had a (selected) short version of the “S&P 493.”  As for the market’s meal, it was stuffed with enough economic stats to secure the end of interest rate increases (at least until the next recession), as Congress passed on passing a budget and postponed the next showdown (and potential shutdown) until Jan. 19, 2024 (with the second part set for Feb. 2), partially because it couldn’t decide on the bill’s stuffing.  The economy continued onward, slowly, with some cracks (consumers were spending more, but buying fewer products) and concerns (debt cost, charge and auto loans, and real estate refinancing).

Consumers ended the month (and started the holiday season) better than expected, as estimates for online Black Friday shopping were a record USD 9.8 billion, and Cyber Monday sales were estimated to be a record USD 12 billion, with full Thanksgiving sales (cyber and stores for the five-day period) estimated at USD 38 billion.  Of note, MasterCard data showed that online sales surged, while in-store shopping was less popular, as the average (according to interest rate for retail charge cards is 28.93%, compared with 21.19% for all credit cards (a long way from the Treasury, banks or yields).  As for the rest of the holiday season, the initial indication is that stores are flinching first by increasing and extending discounts, as consumers are expected to selectively spend 3% more than they did in 2022, which, given higher prices, will translate into fewer actual products sold.

The S&P 500’s total return was up 20.80% YTD, which almost makes up for last year’s 18.11% total return decline (from the 2021 close it was -4.16% for stocks and -1.08% total return; the two-year Treasury at year-end 2021 was 0.73%).  December has the best track record since 1928, up 72.6% of the time, with an average gain of 1.28% (I guess I should mention that December 2022 was down 5.90%), bringing high hopes for Santa to stick around, with a few brave bulls looking at the Jan. 3, 2022, closing high of 4,796.56, which is 4.77% away.

The index reversed its three months of declines (-2.20% in October, -4.87% in September and -1.77% in August; cumulatively -8.61%) after five consecutive months of gains (cumulatively 15.59%), as November posted gains for 16 of its 21 trading days, with 10 of the 11 sectors up and breadth turning strongly positive (431 up and 72 down, compared to last month’s 148 up and 355 down); trading increased 4% over October and was up down 18% over November 2022.

For Q3 2023 earnings to date, 490 issues, representing 98.3% of the index’s market value, have reported, with 391 beating their earnings estimates (79.8%) and 305 of 489 beating on sales (62.4%).  Operating Q3 2023 EPS are expected to decrease 4.5% over Q2 2023 and be up 4.1% over Q3 2022; sales are expected to set a new record, estimated to be up 1.4% from the record Q2 2023 level and up 5.0% over Q3 2022.  Operating margins for Q3 2023 are expected to decrease to 11.18% from 11.87% in Q2 2023 (the average since 1993 is 8.76%, and the record is 13.54% in Q2 2021).  Significant EPS impact due to share count reduction for Q3 2023 was posted by 13.3% of issues to date, compared with Q2 2023's 16.3% and 21.2% in Q3 2022.  For 2023, estimates call for an 8.8% increase, and the forward P/E is 21.2.  For 2024, estimates call for a 13.5% increase (the same as 2023), and the forward P/E is 18.7.

The U.S. Treasury announced its quarterly schedule of offerings, as it will issue USD 112 billion in debt, which includes USD 9 billion in new financing (USD 48 billion in 3-year, USD 40 billion in 10-year and USD 24 billion in 30-year instruments).  Treasury secretary Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng on trade practices, as they tried to lay the ground for the Nov. 15 meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping in San Francisco.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Mexico Fixed Income Commentary: Q3 2023

Contributor Image
Catalina Zota

Associate Director, Fixed Income Product Management

S&P Dow Jones Indices

Market Snapshot

Mexico’s central bank held interest rates steady at 11.25% in September 2023, similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pause in rate increases due to an uncertain economic environment.  The Bank of Mexico has raised interest rates 15 times since June 2021 in an effort to tame inflationary pressures.  Overall, international markets have shown slowing inflation across the globe.  Mexico's inflation rate fell again to 4.45% in September 2023 from 4.64% the previous month.  In the U.S., inflation rose to 3.7% in September.  The increase in U.S. inflation has been fueled by energy and food prices.

Domestic nominal bond indices that include both sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds started on a downward trend at the beginning of Q3 2023.  Q3 performance was down 0.5% for the S&P/BMV All Sovereign Bond Index, driven in part by the MBONOS component that was down 2.5%.  In contrast, CETES and BONDES indices showed Q3 gains of 2.8% and 2.9%, respectively.  Yield on CETES flattened out this quarter to 11.4%.  Unlike its sovereign counterpart, the S&P/BMV Quasi-Sovereign Bond Index was up 0.5% for the quarter, while the yield edged up to 12%.

Inflation-linked bond indices performed negatively in Q3.  UDIBONOS indices posted a 2.8% decline, while quasi-sovereign inflation-linked bonds were down 0.8% for the quarter.  In contrast, the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) indices—CEDEVIS and TFOVIS—were up at 1.9% and 0.1%, respectively, for the third quarter. 

Eurobond indices were slightly down, at -0.4% for Q3.  The steepest decline in Q3 performance has been seen in the United Mexican States (UMS) bond market, as measured by the S&P/BMV Sovereign International UMS Bond Index.  In Q3, the index was down 4.8%, while its yield was up at 6.4%.

A notable development in the Mexican bond market in Q3 was the government’s issuance of  BONOS MS—the first MBONOS with a social objective.  MBONOS are Mexican Federal Government Development Bonds with a fixed rate and maturity greater than one year.  The bond was issued on July 13, 2023, with a par amount of MXN 23 billion, a fixed 8% semiannual coupon and a maturity date of May 25, 2035.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

S&P Target Date Scorecard: Mid-Year 2023


  • The S&P Target Date® Scorecard provides performance comparisons and analytics covering the U.S. target date fund (TDF) universe.
  • The S&P Target Date Index Series is a consensus-driven, multi-asset benchmark for TDFs. It is designed to be an accurate representation of TDFs in the U.S. market and to be the basis against which managers can assess their performance.
  • The series is constructed from indices that represent the actual allocations of funds in the U.S. target date space.
  • The assets used in the construction of the index series are all investable, and the weights are published in advance of the index series’ rebalancing.
  • S&P Dow Jones Indices also produces S&P Target Date Style Indices. The “To” style indices aim to reduce the impact of market drawdowns around the expected retirement date, while the “Through” style indices aim to mitigate longevity risk—the risk of outliving one’s assets in retirement.
  • The series consists of 13 S&P Target Date Indices, 11 S&P Target Date “To” Indices and 12 S&P Target Date “Through” Indices.  New index vintages are launched in five-year intervals.

Market Commentary

The first half of 2023 was a kinder environment to investors after the sizable selloff across asset classes in 2022.  Economic indicators remained mixed, but the long-dreaded recession did not arrive.  Jobless claims began to creep up toward the end of Q2 2023, providing a glimmer of hope that the Fed’s rate hikes might soon be in the rearview mirror.  However, inflation remained sticky, and in June the Fed signaled two potential additional rate hikes for 2023.  Regardless, bond markets were generally positive.  On the equity side, the Magnificent Seven propped up the S&P 500®, with the rest of the market being broadly flat.

  • The first six months of 2023 saw a rebound in the U.S. equity markets, with the S&P 500 TR posting 16.89%. Although the Federal Reserve increased its target rate three times between February and May, each increase was only 25 bps.  This break from 50 and 75 bps hikes in 2022 somewhat calmed investor sentiment.
  • Large-cap equities outperformed mid- and small-cap equities, with the S&P MidCap 400® TR and S&P SmallCap 600® TR posting 8.84% and 6.03%, respectively.
  • International equities also posted strong returns in the first half of 2023, with developed equities outperforming emerging. The S&P Developed Ex-U.S. BMI (USD) NTR posted 10.63% while the S&P Emerging BMI (USD) NTR posted 4.44%.
  • S. REITs, which had the worst performance of all asset classes in the S&P Target Date Index Series 2022, rebounded in 2023. The Dow Jones U.S. Select REIT Index TR posted 5.77% in H1 2023.  International REITs did not experience the same fortune, with the S&P Developed Ex-U.S. REIT NTR posting -3.80%.  However, none of the S&P Target Date Index vintages had exposure to international REITs and, therefore, they were not affected by the negative returns of this asset class.
  • Fixed Income generally performed well across the board, regardless of maturity. The S&P U.S. Treasury Bond 0-1 Year Index posted 2.12%, the S&P U.S. TIPS Index posted 2.29% and the S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index posted 2.33%.
  • High yield debt fared the best, with the S&P 500 High Yield Corporate Bond Index posting 4.19% over the same period.
  • Commodities posted the worst returns, down 7.54% in the first half of 2023 as measured by the S&P GSCI As was the case with international REITs, no S&P Target Date Index vintages had exposure to commodities so they were not impacted.
  • Due to a more conservative approach to portfolio construction, nearer-dated vintages of S&P Target Date Indices had lower allocations to equity, which was the best-performing asset class in H1 2023. This resulted in lower returns compared to longer-dated vintages, which had higher allocations to equity.
  • With increased exposure to equity came increased risk, which is the reason for the higher annualized volatility figure for longer-dated vintages.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

iBoxx USD Asia Ex-Japan Monthly Commentary: October 2023

Contributor Image
Jessica Tan

Principal, Fixed Income Indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices

October 2023 Commentary

As global central banks have been juggling tackling inflation and supporting economic growth, most have moved to a cautious wait-and-see stance toward their policy rate decisions and kept their rates unchanged in October.  The European Central Bank followed suit this month and maintained rates at 4.5% after 10 successive rate hikes since July 2022.

With higher interest costs and a growing budget deficit, the U.S. Treasury department has been increasing its debt issuance sizes, bringing additional supply into the U.S. Treasuries market.  Consequently, the long end of the U.S. Treasuries yield curve, as represented by the iBoxx $ Treasuries 10Y+, rose and its yield surpassed 5% in October.  The 10Y+ index extended its loss by another 4.64%, bringing its YTD loss to 12%.  Against the backdrop of higher 10-year yields coupled with the Israel-Hamas war breaking out in the Middle East, the S&P 500® experienced its third consecutive month of losses, down 2.20%.

In Asia, the strength of the U.S. dollar combined with weak demand from China made for a challenging landscape for central banks to navigate with their policy decisions.  On top of that, geopolitical tensions have been rising in Asia and there is the potential of rising costs due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.  To stifle inflation resurgence, central banks in Indonesia and the Philippines opted to raise rates by 25 bps in October.

iBoxx USD Asia Ex-Japan Monthly Commentary: Exhibit 1

In October, the overall index was down 0.66%, with the investment grade and high yield segments shedding -0.64% and -0.77%, respectively.  In terms of rolling one-year returns, the high yield segment performed the best, at 16.54%.

The investment grade short-end maturity buckets remained in favor over the mid- to long-end maturity buckets.  As the rising 10-year Treasury yields continued to weigh on the global debt market, the worst performance came from the 10Y+ segments of higher quality bonds.  The high yield 10Y+ segments continued to move in the opposite direction, gaining 3.30%, largely attributed to the outperformance in the CCC rated 10Y+ segment.

iBoxx USD Asia Ex-Japan Monthly Commentary: Exhibit 2

All of the top seven markets by market value in the index posted negative returns in October.  The two markets that experienced a rate hike of 25 bps this month, Indonesia (down 1.50%) and the Philippines (down 1.19%), were the worst-performing markets.  Spreads across all top seven markets widened—except for Mainland China and Indonesia—and duration across all of them shortened.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

iBoxx Asian Local Currency Indices Monthly Commentary: October 2023

Contributor Image
Kangwei Yang

Director, Fixed Income Indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices

Monthly performance, maturity, yield and duration of the iBoxx ALBI, iBoxx ABF and iBoxx SGD Indices.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out in early October, investors swooped to the safe haven of U.S. Treasuries, as marked by a 22-bps decline in the yield of iBoxx $ Treasuries between Oct. 6, 2023, and Oct.10, 2023.  That was short lived, as the sell-off of long-dated U.S. Treasuries in recent weeks pushed the yield of the index back above 5%, ending the month at 5.15% and a month-to-date loss of 1.35%.  This also brought the 10-2 Year Treasury Yield Spread to its highest level in the past year, widening to -0.19% by month-end.  The lowest point recorded in the past year was -1.08% in July.

This month, the European Central Bank also put a pause to 10 consecutive rate hikes and decided to hold interest rates following signs of easing inflation and slowing economic activities.  This was decided after the ECB Governing Council’s monetary policy meeting in late October.  In Asia, Indonesia’s and the Philippines’ central banks raised rates by 25 bps in October in a bid to manage inflationary pressures.

On the equities front, the S&P 500® posted -2.20%, its third consecutive month of negative returns.  Likewise, the S&P Pan Asia Ex-Japan LargeMidCap (USD) was down 3.34%, and China—as represented by S&P China 500 (USD)—also lost ground in October (-3.53%).


iBoxx Asian Local Currency Indices: Monthly Commentary: Exhibit 1

Asian local currency bonds—as represented by the iBoxx Asian Local Bond Index (ALBI) (USD)—posted a loss for the third consecutive month, declining 1.05% in October.  Capital losses were observed in all underlying markets; in addition, most local currencies (except Hong Kong dollar and Thai baht) lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

Three markets, in local currency terms, posted positive performance after adding returns from the bond coupon payments and accrued interest, namely Singapore (up 0.22%), Hong Kong (up 0.19%) and China Onshore (up 0.10%).  The worst-performing markets were Indonesia (down 1.99%), the Philippines (down 1.60%) and South Korea (down 1.51%).

Similar to U.S. Treasuries, the longer-dated bonds experienced a sell-off this month with the largest losses in the 10+ years segment.  The heaviest losses were seen in the Philippines 10+ (down 4.27%) and South Korea 10+ (down 3.05%).  China Onshore was the only market with gains across the yield curve, in local currency terms.

As of the end of October, the overall index yield increased by 11 bps to 4.34%.  India remained the highest-yielding bond market in the index, posting 7.48%, while China Onshore (2.80%) represented the lowest-yielding market.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Processing ...