February was a mixed bag of returns for the major asset classes, but that didn’t stop the Global Market Index (GMI) from rising again. Thanks to another strong month of gains in the global equity markets, the passive, unmanaged GMI, which holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights, posted a healthy 2.8% rise in February—it’s third monthly increase in a row.
In contrast to strong gains in stock markets around the world, broad measures of investment-grade U.S. bonds retreated marginally while foreign bonds in developed markets took a slightly heavier beating. Elsewhere in fixed income, however, there was no sign of red ink: junk bonds, emerging market bonds, foreign corporate bonds, and foreign inflation-indexed bonds all registered tidy increases last month (measured in unhedged dollar terms). Broad measures of commodities also moved higher. Meanwhile, U.S. REITs gave up 1.1%.