Net transfer activity for October heavily favored diversified equities (equity assets excluding company stock) with $384 million (0.26%) flowing in, according to the latest Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index. Total activity across the Index was moderate with $428 million transferring for the month.

Among other highlights from the Aon Hewitt Index report: 

  • The Index had six days of above-normal daily transfer activity during October, occurring on the following dates: 7th–9th, 17th –18th, 21st. The high volumes coincided with the timing of lawmakers’ negotiations around the government shutdown and debt ceiling. Through the month, daily transfer activity averaged 0.035% of total account balances per trading day
  • October began with investors focused on the government shutdown and concerns about a potential government default should the debt ceiling not be raised. Late in the day on October 16, Congress reached a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. This deal, combined with the speculation that the Federal Reserve may further delay any plans to start tapering its bond-buying program, had a positive impact on capital market results for the month.
  • Large U.S. equities (as measured by the S&P 500) gained 4.6% during the month while small U.S. equities (as measured by the Russell 2000) gained 2.5%. Interest rates continued to decline (since rising in early September) with the yield of the 10-year Treasury falling to 2.57% at the end of the month. 

Tables published with the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index also provide statistics and the returns of major market indices for periods ending October 31, 2013.

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