Following three consecutive quarters of negative total returns for the average closed-end fund (CEF), CEFs rebounded during the fourth quarter and posted an average return of 6.4%. It was a broad rally in the fourth quarter with the average equity CEF returning 9.3%, fixed-income CEF returning 4.9%, municipal CEF returning 4.4% and taxable fixed-income CEF returning 5.1%. Equity CEFs benefitted from the 7.6% return for the S&P 500 Index during the quarter. Fixed-income CEFs benefitted from positive total returns from several key fixed-income indices for the quarter including a 3.9% return for the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, a 4.1% return for the iBoxx USD Liquid High Yield Index, a 3.1% return for the iBoxx USD Liquid Leveraged Loans Index, a 1.9% return for the S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index and a 4.6% return for the iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index. (Source: S&P)
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