Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Utilities Stumbled

Utilities is generally the sleepiest of the S&P 500's sectors, but it caused a bit of a commotion yesterday when it rose by just 0.8 percent on Monday. That broke an 11-session losing streak that went down as the longest in records going back to 1990.

There's a reason that utilities had been suffering recently. The sector is known mostly for paying out above-average dividend income and has thus fallen when bond yields rise. The problem in the past couple of weeks is that bond investors are beginning to expect the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates.

That ended yesterday, when utilities outperformed the 0.5 percent increase in the overall S&P. Still, the utilities sector is down 3 percent for all of October.

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