A major reversal in the U.S. markets occurred in November, thanks to promising developments on COVID-19 vaccines along with a putatively benign outcome of the Presidential and Congressional elections. The S&P 500® gained 11%, its best performance since April, while smaller caps outperformed, with the S&P MidCap 400® and the S&P SmallCap 600® rising 14% and 18%, respectively. Volatility declined, as VIX® closed the month at 20.57.
All factor indices gained, as High Beta and Enhanced Value strategies topped the factor league table. Consistent with the reversal theme, Equal Weight outperformed, while Value outperformed Growth.
Not surprisingly, sector dispersion widened in November, as history shows that sectors tend to be especially important during the Novembers when Presidential elections take place. Energy, up a remarkable 28%, was the month’s top performing sector after years of underperformance.