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REIT, utilities sector trackers suffer unanimous declines as Treasury yields jump

Tomi Kilgore

The real estate investment trust and utilities sectors were the biggest losers of the S&P 500's 11 key sectors, and their weakness was unanimous, as a big jump in Treasury yields helped lure investors away from the high-yielding sector. The SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF slumped 2.1% with all 32 of its equity components losing ground and SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF shed 2.0% with all 28 components declining. REITs are utilities are often seen as bond proxies, given their high yields, while the S&P 500 eased 0.1%. The REIT ETF's dividend yield was 3.38% and the utilities ETF's yield was 3.11%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.98%, according to FactSet. Meanwhile, Treasury prices fell, to push the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up 5.1 basis points to 2.045%, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal was near.