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Closed-End Fund News
Morningstar Commentaries
CEF Update (7/23/14): News You Can Use
Jul. 22, 2014 - Morningstar, Inc. -  It was a quiet week in closed-end fund news.
Rights Offerings and Tender Offers 
Nuveen announced tender offers for four of its muni funds.  Nuveen Dividend Advantage Municipal 3 (NZF), Nuveen Dividend Advantage Municipal Income (NVG),  Nuveen Municipal Advantage (NMA), and  Nuveen Quality Income Municipal(NQU) will purchase up to 10% of outstanding common shares for 98% of net asset value on the purchase date. The offer will commence after the funds' 2014 annual shareholder meetings. In conjunction with the tender offer, activist investor Karpus Management agreed to vote their shares in accordance with the recommendations of the board and has agreed to be bound by "standstill" covenants until Sept. 30, 2017.
In 2014's First Half, MLPs Reign King
Jul. 18, 2014 - Morningstar, Inc. -  While bond investors spent much of 2014 fretting over what the improving economic outlook means for interest rates, U.S. equity investors earned decent returns in the first half of the year. Investors expecting a repeat of 2013's surging equity markets in 2014, though, were disappointed. The S&P 500 Index, for example, dropped sharply in January and put up gains of less than 100 basis points during March and April, netting a respectable, but not amazing, 7% return for the first six months of the year.
Market Commentaries
It Looks Like Gold & Silver Miners May Finally Be Joining The Bull
Jul. 22, 2014 - First Trust -  

View from the Observation Deck 

  1. Precious metals miners have not participated in the bull market that began on 3/9/09 (see chart). The Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index was actually down 4.78% (cumulative total return) from 3/9/09 through 7/18/14. 
  2. The miners, however, are off to a great start so far in 2014, with a total return of 22.04%, as of 7/18 (see chart). Gold bullion and silver were up 8.91% and 7.30%, respectively, over that period.

Plow Horse GDP Rebound in Q2
Jul. 21, 2014 - First Trust -  The 2.9% drop in real GDP during the first quarter was a fluke caused by a brutal winter and some one-off events. With much of the monthly data in for Q2, it looks like the US will see that drop almost completely reversed. 
Recent Commentaries
Searching for Bargains in Closed-End Funds
Jul. 19, 2014 - Barron's -  Closed-end bond funds have been on a tear this year, returning an average of 11% during the first half, including dividends, according to Closed-End Fund Advisors, a research group. The average yield at the end of June was 6.4%. Compare that with a first-half total return of just 5.4% for SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond (ticker: JNK), an exchange-traded fund that tracks junk bonds.
The Other Discount Advantage
May. 21, 2014 - First Trust -  
When an investor considers investing in a closed-end fund (CEF) that is trading on the secondary market, one of the attributes of the CEF structure that is often appealing isthe ability to purchase shares of a fund at a discount to its net asset value (NAV). Due to the fact that CEFs are equity instruments with shares traded publicly throughout the trading day on an exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and an investor purchases shares of a CEF at a share price which is independent from the fund’s underlying NAV, its share price can trade at a discount or premium to its NAV. Whereas a CEF’s share price is traded throughout the day on an exchange, a CEF’s NAV is only priced once a day after the market closes
CEF Industry Reports
Select Closed-End Funds by Asset Class List Quarterly: Summer 2014
Jul. 22, 2014 - Wells Fargo Advisors -  
The Select Closed-End Funds by Asset Class List (Select List) includes a broad group of CEFs that are recommended for investors seeking exposure to a certain asset class. The objective of the Select List is to identify what we believe are the most favorable CEFs in multiple asset classes. When reviewing potential candidates, certain characteristics are considered, both quantitative and fundamental, including: valuation, distribution stability, leverage, liquidity, and risk/return profile.
Senior Loan & High Yield Review - 2nd Quarter 2014

Jul. 17, 2014 - First Trust -  
During the second quarter of 2014, an accommodative Federal Reserve (the "Fed"), strengthening economic data and declining interest rates helped drive returns for equities and longer duration fixed-income assets. Investors continued to scrutinize the rhetoric from the Fed, attempting to gauge the potential pace and timing of prospective interest rate increases. The Fed’s bond buying program is now less than half of the $85 billion-per month program that it was at its peak, and as of the time of this commentary, the Fed has announced the nearly imminent completion of its bond buying at its forthcoming meeting in October. 
Featured CEF Fund Reports
Calamos Convertible Opportunities and Income Fund (CHI) Quarterly Commentary
Jun. 30, 2014 - Calamos Investments -  
» Current annualized distribution rate of 8.13%
» Designed to provide enhanced fixed income
» Managed by an experienced team
» Closed-end fund portfolio includes a mix of convertible and high yield bonds
» May complement the income portion of an investor’s asset allocation
» Seeks to be less susceptible to rising interest rates than traditional fixed income funds
» Dividend Reinvestment Plan available
Nuveen Quality Preferred Income Funds (JTP, JPS, JHP) - First Quarter 2014

May. 08, 2014 - Nuveen Asset Management -  
The preferred securities market staged a healthy comeback in the first quarter, after becoming oversold, in our view, in the wake of last year’s U.S. Treasury bond market troubles. The retail sector ($25 par) of the preferred market outperformed the institutional sector ($1,000 par) for the period, a reversal from the fourth quarter of 2013.
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