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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

REITs On Top In 2021

  • U.S. equity markets climbed to fresh record-highs on a relatively quiet final week of a memorable 2021 as consumers and government officials remain largely unfazed by the recent pandemic intensification.

  • Recording its 69th and 70th record-high of 2021 this week, the S&P 500 advanced 0.9% while the Mid-Cap 400 climbed 1.7% and the Small-Cap 600 rose 1.1%.

  • Fittingly, real estate equities led the way on the week, solidifying Equity REITs as the best-performing major asset class of 2021 with total returns of more than 40%.

  • High-frequency economic data painted a bright picture this past week as Mastercard reported that holiday spending rose 8.5% from a year earlier, TSA checkpoint data showed a strong Christmas week of domestic travel, and jobless claims declined to multi-decade lows.

  • Great Ajax was among the leaders on the week after declaring a special cash dividend of $0.10 per share, one of 130 REITs that raised their dividends in 2021, the most ever in a single year with the REIT sector.

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