Markets rally throughout the month
MONTHLY MARKET COMMENTARY |
Domestic and international equity indices posted strong returns notwithstanding heightened volatility. Global fixed income indices also experienced broad gains as markets rallied throughout the month. Central banks continued to be accommodative as geopolitical events throughout the world increased uncertainty for investors. However, strong demand for financial instruments led indices higher as the S&P 500 surpassed its previous all-time high set back in 2015.
For the month, the S&P 500 Index gained 3.7 percent, while the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies increased 6.0 percent. The materials, information technology, industrials, healthcare and financials sectors were the top performers, while the energy sector was weaker. Across market capitalizations, small-cap securities generally outperformed their large- and mid-cap counterparts. Across styles, growth outperformed value across all market capitalizations except for small-cap securities.
U.S. fixed income markets were positive across all asset classes. Long-maturity Treasuries handily outperformed shorter-dated issues as the yield curve flattened. Investment-grade corporate securities were positive as financial-, utility-, and industrial-related issuers were in the black for the month. Lower quality, higher yielding corporate securities experienced gains as well. Other sectors, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and municipal bonds also ended higher.
International markets were positive as the MSCI EAFE gained 5.1 percent. Among the largest European markets, France climbed 5.6 percent, while Germany posted a 7.4 percent return.