Global equities dominated the performance ledger for the major asset classes in April with solid gains. For the first time since last July, all the major slices of the world’s stock markets – US, foreign developed and emerging markets – topped the winner’s list for calendar month.
At the front of April’s equity rally: US stocks. The Russell 3000 Index gained 4.0% last month, delivering the benchmark’s best performance since January. Year to date, Russell 3000 is up a red-hot 18.6%.
Despite broad-based gains in global equities, last month also dispensed a fair amount of red ink. Foreign real estate posted the biggest setback in April for the major asset classes. The S&P Global Ex-US Property Index slumped 1.9%, the biggest monthly decline on a calendar basis for the index since last October. So far in 2019, however, this foreign real estate benchmark is still enjoying a robust 11.3% total return through the end of April.
The upside bias in global stock markets helped lift the Global Market Index (GMI) in April. This unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes (except cash) in market-value weights rose 2.4% last month. On a trailing one-year basis, GMI is up a moderate 5.2%, a tick below the 5.3% one-year gain for US investment-grade bonds. US stocks, by comparison, have delivered substantially stronger results via a 12.7% one-year return through the end of last month.
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