A rewarding month following Q3 turbulence
October was a spectacular month for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 index jumped 8.5% on a total return basis, erasing large third quarter declines and finishing October with its biggest monthly gain in four years. Mid- and small-cap U.S. equities also had strong performances with both the S&P MidCap 400 and the S&P SmallCap 600 returning 6% on the month.
Global markets were up across the board on the month. Developed markets returned 7.44%, pushing them into positive territory year-to-date, while emerging markets ended up 7%. Asia had a banner month, ending up 10%.
Global real estate securities rallied a healthy 5.8%, tipping the category back into positive territory year-to-date.
U.S. fixed income results were mixed. Barclay’s S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index was flat, while the High Yield Index ended up 2.72%. Yields increased on long dated Treasuries, leading Barclays U.S. Treasury Bond Index to end the month down slightly.
Following a third quarter rout, commodities had mixed performances in October. The Dow Jones Commodity Index ended down 1%, while the S&P GSCI finished up marginally. The Bloomberg Commodity Index has been in decline for four years and counting, leaving worn-out investors to ask if commodity prices are finally bottoming.