The graph and table above provide return data for major income-oriented asset categories for the month of October 2023 and YTD 2023. Returns for each asset category are based on the returns of the constituent(s) in the Nasdaq HANDLS™ Base Index representing that category. Also included are returns for the Nasdaq 5HANDL™ Index, the Nasdaq 7HANDL™ Index and the Nasdaq 10HANDL™ Index.
A Struggle Through October
Securities markets continued to struggle in October in the face of rising interest rates and concerns about whether the Federal Reserve might continue its monetary tightening policy. The Core Large Cap Equity category lost 2.1% while the Core Fixed Income category fell 1.5% for the month.
The only category in the Nasdaq Dorsey Wright Explore portion of HANDLS Indexes to earn positive returns in October were Utilities, which shook off a disastrous first three quarters to begin the fourth quarter with 0.9% return. Other than MLPs (-0.6%) and High Yield Bonds (-0.9), every income-oriented category lost more than 100 basis points, with the Preferred Securities category the biggest laggard (-5.3%).
The Nasdaq 5HANDL Index returned -1.8% for the month. The Nasdaq 7 HANDL Index, the 1.3x leveraged version of the index, returned -2.5% in September while the Nasdaq 10 HANDL Index, the 2.0x leveraged version of the index, delivered a -4.2% return.
Despite three straight months of declines, the Core Large Cap Equity remained comfortably in the black in 2023, delivering a 23.4% return on a year-to-date basis and comfortably outperforming every other category in HANDLS Indexes. The Core Fixed Income Category continued to struggle with the impact of rising interest rates, shedding 2.7% in the first 10 months of 2023.
For the income-oriented categories that make up the Nasdaq Dorsey Wright Explore portion of HANDLS Indexes, MLPs continued to lead all such categories with a 17.3% year-to-date return. While Utilities enjoyed a positive month in October, the category continued to lag the year-to-date performance of the next worst performing category by nearly 1,000 basis points and remained down 14.3% in 2023.
On a year-to-date basis, the Nasdaq 5HANDL Index was up 2.0% through the end of October, versus returns of 1.2% and -0.8% for the Nasdaq 7 HANDL Index and Nasdaq 10 HANDL Index, respectively.
*The graph and table above provide return data for major income-oriented asset categories since inception of HANDLS Indexes (3/12/2009). Returns for each asset category are based on the returns of the constituent(s) in the Nasdaq HANDLS™ Base Index representing that category. Also included are returns for the Nasdaq 5HANDL™ Index, the Nasdaq 7HANDL™ Index and the Nasdaq 10HANDL™ Index. Inception dates for MLPs (1/2/2013), Build America Bonds (1/2/2010) and Active Fixed Income (1/2/2014)
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