What Investors Were Researching in May
Investors continued their search for income in May, as the future of monetary policy came into sharp focus during the month.
The market kept its upward momentum going in May. The broad-based, Morningstar U.S. Market Index was up 2.3% over the last four weeks, and is now up a remarkable 15% so far this year.
The big story in the U.S. last month was talk about when the Fed would begin to taper its current round of bond purchases. Testimony from Chairman Bernanke in front of Congress, minutes from the recent FOMC meeting, and speeches by a number of Fed members revealed that the Fed is seriously talking about when it will be appropriate to reduce its purchases of mortgage-backed securities.
The big question hanging over the market was timing. Some members think it could be time to start tapering as early as June, while others are willing to wait until the economic recovery gains more traction or until inflation becomes a problem. Despite some wobbles, the stock market seems to have mostly shrugged off these concerns assuming that the Fed either won't aggressively tighten until the economy is stronger or the central bank will quickly ramp up purchases again if the tapering leads to an exodus from risk assets.
Japan remained a hot topic in the month, too. Encouraging GDP data in the middle of the month boosted hopes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to reinflate the economy through aggressive monetary and fiscal policy (Abenomics) was starting to work. However, by the end of the month there were a number of big sell-offs in Japanese stocks as the market worried about the long-term effectiveness and impact of Abenomics. Even with the wild swings in the Nikkei, the index was down only slightly over the last month and is up over 60% over the last year.
Against this backdrop, what were investors checking out on Morningstar.com during the month? Below are the 25 most viewed stock, mutual fund, and exchange-traded fund reports in May.
|Most Viewed Stock Analyst Reports in May 2013|
|Name||Ticker||Moat||Star Rating||May Return|
|Berkshire Hathaway||BRK.B||Wide|| ||7%|
|Baxter Intl||BAX||Wide|| ||1%|
|General Electric||GE||Wide|| ||15%|
|National Oilwell Varco||NOV||Wide|| ||8%|
|Rio Tinto||RIO||Narrow|| ||-7%|
|CH Robinson||CHRW||Wide|| ||12%|
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||Wide|| ||2%|
|Schnitzer Steel||SCHN||None|| ||1%|
|Procter & Gamble||PG||Wide|| ||0%|
|Wells Fargo||WFC||Narrow|| ||8%|
|Devon Energy||DVN||Narrow|| ||-6%|
|Ultra Petroleum||UPL||Narrow|| ||6%|
|Bank of America||BAC||Narrow|| ||11%|
|Energy Xfer Partners||ETP||Narrow|| ||3%|
|Source: Morningstar |
Apple (AAPL) got tipped off its most-researched perch this month by another tech-giant, Cisco (CSCO). Cisco reported solid quarterly results in the month, bucking the trend of some tech companies earlier in earnings season posting disappointing numbers. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) moved into the top 25 last month, likely boosted by the firm's widely followed annual meeting at the beginning of the month and the purchase of NV Energy (NVE) at the end of May.
|Most Viewed Open-End Fund Analyst Reports in May 2013|
|Name||Ticker||Morningstar Category||Star Rating||May Return|
|Vanguard Div Growth||VDIGX||Large Blend|| ||1%|
|Vanguard Wellington||VWELX||Mod Allocation||1%|
|Vanguard Cap Opp||VHCOX||Large Growth|| ||3%|
|Fidelity Flt Rt High Inc||FFRHX||Bank Loan|| ||0%|
|PRIMECAP Odsy Ag Gr||POAGX||Mid-Cap Growth||6%|
|Oakmark Intl||OAKIX||Foreign Lg Blend|| ||2%|
|Sequoia||SEQUX||Large Blend|| ||5%|
|Vanguard Wellsly Inc||VWINX||Cons Allocation||-1%|
|Matthews Asia Div||MAPIX||Div Pac/Asia|| ||-3%|
|Met West Ttl Rtn Bnd||MWTRX||Interm-Term Bond||-1%|
|Vanguard PCAP Core||VPCCX||Large Growth|| ||3%|
|PRIMECAP Odsy Stock||POSKX||Large Blend||2%|
|Dodge & Cox Income||DODIX||Interm-Term Bond|| ||-1%|
|Wasatch Small Cap Gr||WAAEX||Small Growth||4%|
|PRIMECAP Odyssey Gr||POGRX||Large Growth|| ||2%|
|Templeton Glbl Bond||TPINX||World Bond||-2%|
|T. Rowe Cap Apprec||PRWCX||Mod Allocation||1%|
|T. Rowe New Amer Gr||PRWAX||Large Growth||2%|
|Fidelity New Mkts Inc||FNMIX||Emer Mrkt Bnd||-4%|
|Fidelity Contrafund||FCNTX||Large Growth|| ||2%|
|T Rowe Health Sci||PRHSX||Health|| ||3%|
|Dodge & Cox Stock||DODWX||World Stock||2%|
|PIMCO Total Return||PTTRX||Interm-Term Bond||-2%|
|Yacktman Focused||YAFFX||Large Blend||2%|
There weren't many major changes on the most-researched open-end fund list this month. Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX) landed on top as investors continued their search for yield. There was also continued interest in less traditional fixed-income products like bank-loan fund Fidelity Floating Rate High Income (FFRHX), and global-bond funds like Templeton Global Bond (TPINX) and Fidelity New Markets Income (FNMIX).
|Most Viewed ETF Analyst Reports in May 2013|
|Vanguard Dividend Appreciation||VIG||1%|
|WisdomTree Emerging Mrkts||DEM||-3%|
|Vanguard REIT Index ETF||VNQ||-6%|
|Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF||VEU||-3%|
|SPDR S&P Dividend||SDY||0%|
|iShares MSCI Emerging Mkt Min Vol||EEMV||-3%|
|PIMCO Total Return ETF||BOND||-2%|
|WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity||DXJ||-1%|
|ALPS Alerian MLP ETF||AMLP||-1%|
|PowerShares Senior Loan Port||BKLN||0%|
|PowerShares Intl Div Achievers||PID||-2%|
|Vanguard Energy ETF||VDE||3%|
|Vanguard Global Ex-US Real Estate||VNQI||-9%|
|Vanguard High Div Yield Index||VYM||1%|
|WisdomTree Emrg Mkts Sml Cap Div||DGS||-2%|
|JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index||AMJ||-1%|
|Vanguard Total Stock Market||VTI||2%|
|iShares DJ Intl Select Div||IDV||-6%|
|iShares MSCI USA Min Vol||USMV||-2%|
|Vanguard Consumer Spls||VDC||-2%|
|iShares MSCI Japan||EWJ||-6%|
|Vanguard Short-Term Bond||BSV||0%|
|PowerShares S&P 500 Low Vol||SPLV||-3%|
|SPDR Gold Shares||GLD||-5%|
|UBS E-TRACS Alerian MLP Infra||MLPI||-1%|
|Source: Morningstar |
A similar story is told in the most-researched ETFs in May: income, be it from dividend funds (like Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)), real estate ( Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ)), or MLPs ( ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP)). The wild swings in the Japanese market seem to have lifted WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity (DXJ) into the most researched list last month.
All Data as of May 31.
Jeremy Glaser has a position in the following securities mentioned above: MSFT. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.