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Markets extend defensive stance

Investors took a more cautious view of the markets beginning in late April as seen by net futures positions in the S&P 500 and 10-year U.S. Treasuries.

Weekly data through June 13 show a net short position in S&P 500 futures for the seventh consecutive week, while Treasury futures were net long for the eighth consecutive week. Short positions in the S&P 500 hit a five-year low at the end of May at a net 8,085 contracts short. Meanwhile, Treasury contracts hit their five-year high the week earlier at 362,501 contracts short.

Year-to-date through June 20, the S&P 500 returned 9.9% on a total return basis; 3.63% quarter-to-date through Tuesday. Ten-year Treasury yields were 2.16% on Tuesday, down from 2.39% at the end of the first quarter and 2.44% at the start of 2017.