REITs Lead As Rates Plunge
Investors piled into bonds, real estate, and other safe-haven assets this week as uncertainty over the extent of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak weighed on market sentiment.
Following combined gains of nearly 5% in the prior two weeks, the S&P 500 finished lower by 1.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 400 points.
The story of the week, however, was the bid for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries as the 10-Year Treasury Yield plunged 12 basis points while the 30-Year Yield dipped to historic lows.
Lower yields were good news for the domestic-focused and yield-sensitive equity sectors, particularly real estate and housing. After jumping 4% last week, REITs were leaders again this week after another busy slate of earnings and M&A news.
The U.S. housing market continues to be a source of domestic economic strength, confirmed this week by robust Housing Starts, Building Permits, and Existing Home Sales, which all topped estimates.