One of the challenges that all advisors are dealing with at the moment is how to handle rising rates and their affect on portfolios. There are good options out there for handling the challenge, like rate hedge ETFs, but within the efforts to defend against losses, there have a been a few hard-to-predict moves. One big surprise has been the performance of utilities stocks. Utilities generally lose when rates rise as their yields look relatively less attractive. However, utilities are outperforming the market, with a flat performance this month through Monday, and a 6% gain in the last three months. Explaining the gains, one fund manager says “'In a market like this, in a dramatic sell-off, the rotational effects will be higher than the interest rate effect”.
FINSUM: We sort of understand the safe haven status, but how does a rate-sensitive sector become a safe haven from rate-driven losses? Nonetheless, utilities stocks are doing well.