“The recent tremors underscore the bonds’ vulnerabilities in certain environments,” Benz added. “If you have an emerging-markets bond fund in your portfolio, it’s worth checking up on its strategy and positioning.”
Emerging Market Stocks dropped 10.1%. Along with rising rates, emerging markets weakened on slowing growth in key markets, notably China and India, and the appreciating U.S. dollar. Benz, though, points out that the current macroeconomic pessimism could translate to buying opportunities in cheaply valuated emerging stocks.
Utilities dipped 6.2%. Utilities typically suffered when bond yields rise as investors shift away from safe-haven dividend stocks for better opportunities. Moreover, utilities have already experienced robust returns. If an investor does decide to stick to utilities, it is important to note that the sector only makes up 3% of the total U.S. market. [ETF Chart of the Day: Utilities]
“The average utilities stock in Morningstar’s equity analysts’ coverage universe is about 5% overvalued currently,” Benz said. “In addition to so-so valuations, utilities are apt to remain rate-sensitive for the foreseeable future.”
Real Estate Investment Trusts decreased 7.4%. REITs also suffer when bond yields rise. Additionally, REITs have been generating robust returns over the past five years and are beginning to look overvalued as yields diminished, according to Morningstar analysts. Investors still interested in REITs should be aware that the sector makes up 3.6% of the total U.S. market. [Mortgage REIT ETFs Hit as Interest Rates Surge]
For more information on bond funds, visit our bond ETFs category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.