Summary: Closed end funds (CEF) on average extended their gains the week ending 3/20/09. A somewhat similar pattern of price movement played out among the fund types versus the previous week. Average price appreciation of 13 CEF fund types was 1.65%, while the unweighted average for all 648 CEFs was 1.77%. (CEFs in the aggregate YTD are down 0.3%; Distribution Yield was 12.2%; Discount to NAV was 11.3%). Preferred funds, up 14.0% the previous week, were up 4.6% the week ending March 20th. Given the swoon in financial stocks on Thursday and Friday of last week, caution regarding this group should be exercised in the upcoming week.
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For the sake of weekly comparison, SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) was up 0.8%. Vanguard Total Bond (BND) and iShares Muni fund (MUB) were up modestly, up 1.0% and 1.1%, respectively. Gold (GLD) edged up 2.5%, while oil, as measured by the US Oil ETF, surged 11.3% as the dollar weakened.
One big weekly CEF gainer was PIMCO High Income Fund (PHK), up 22.3%, as it announced previous postponed dividends to be paid. One of the laggards was NFJ Dividend Fund (NFJ), off 11.7%, after a dividend declaration was significantly off prior amounts. The Chile Fund (CH) continued its sequential weekly appreciation of 3.4% as a weaker USD bolstered commodity prices; Material Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was up 3.9%.