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DJIA companies see muted returns and greater volatility in 2018

Through Tuesday's close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.87% on a total return basis year-to-date, while the average constituent return over the period was -0.74%. The average daily volatility of index constituents so far in 2018 is 1.53%. Comparatively, the average constituent return and volatility in 2017 was 21.37% and 0.96%, respectively.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

The average expense ratio for an equity mutual fund in a 401(k) plan was 45 basis points in 2017, down from 70 basis points in 2010 and 77 basis points in 2000, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

China, a trade war and Treasuries

Foreign interest in U.S. Treasury securities has ticked up so far in 2018, peaking at about $3.1 trillion in March, before settling closer to $3 trillion by the end of May. Over that time, interest rates have risen to near 3% for the first time since 2011.

The U.S. trade picture

Total U.S. trade with China in 2017 was $660.5 billion, almost $125 billion more than its next largest trading partner, Canada. Additionally, the trade deficit (exports minus imports) between the U.S. and China was about $350 billion, more than three times that of its next largest trade partner deficit with Mexico.

Active funds net $111 billion through May

Institutional active managers took in $111 billion in 2018 through May 31, led by American Funds, T. Rowe Price and Dimensional, while Harbor, Wells Fargo and Principal had the most significant outflows.

Charts

DJIA companies see muted returns and greater volatility in 2018

Through Tuesday's close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.87% on a total return basis year-to-date, while the average constituent return over the period was -0.74%. The average daily volatility of index constituents so far in 2018 is 1.53%. Comparatively, the average constituent return and volatility in 2017 was 21.37% and 0.96%, respectively.

Charts

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

The average expense ratio for an equity mutual fund in a 401(k) plan was 45 basis points in 2017, down from 70 basis points in 2010 and 77 basis points in 2000, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

Charts

China, a trade war and Treasuries

Foreign interest in U.S. Treasury securities has ticked up so far in 2018, peaking at about $3.1 trillion in March, before settling closer to $3 trillion by the end of May. Over that time, interest rates have risen to near 3% for the first time since 2011.

Charts

The U.S. trade picture

Total U.S. trade with China in 2017 was $660.5 billion, almost $125 billion more than its next largest trading partner, Canada. Additionally, the trade deficit (exports minus imports) between the U.S. and China was about $350 billion, more than three times that of its next largest trade partner deficit with Mexico.

Charts

Active funds net $111 billion through May

Institutional active managers took in $111 billion in 2018 through May 31, led by American Funds, T. Rowe Price and Dimensional, while Harbor, Wells Fargo and Principal had the most significant outflows.