A few months ago, I was (half-)joking that utility stocks were turning into the new mo-mo stocks. Well, the NAZ stocks as usual have turned into what they so often are, and have out-performed the XLU and such stalwarts as Con Ed by a massive amount lately. This tends to reverse. Importantly, Treasury yields are stubbornly holding at very low levels. The Treasury bond buyer is giving up quite a lot of yield versus utility stocks that both yield more and also, ultimately, provide a degree of inflation protection.
Last year my Treasury holdings peaked at about 30% portfolio weighting, mostly in very long-term zero coupon bonds. This has now gone to zero (as disclosed about 203 months ago), and I have been adding a bit more utilities to get to about a 15% weighting.
There are also, though, a growing number of undervalued inflation hedges in the portfolio, as I think the ultra-ultra-low interest rate scenario in the U.S. is looking a bit bizarre. But I think the simpler play is for a convergence of interest rates between Treasurys and high quality muni bonds and utilities, with the former yields moseying on up over time and the latter moving on down-- potentially explosively as occurred last summer with Treasury yields. If you blinked, you missed the move.
Over time, I am increasingly bullish on inflation/value stocks such as HP and AGU. AGU is of interest in that it is challenging a multi-year triple top with the catalyst of a New York-based hedge fund (Jana Partners) looking to force a restructuring. At 10X earnings with strong finances and a global reach, this one looks very interesting.