Major Asset Classes | July 2020 | Performance Review

Stocks in emerging markets continued to lead the major asset classes in July’s performance horse race. This slice of global shares delivered the strongest return for a second straight month.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose a strong 8.9% last month on a net total-return basis, marking the fourth consecutive monthly gain for this corner of global shares. Emerging markets overall are still posting a slight loss on a year-to-date basis, but the hole dug by the coronavirus crash in March has effectively been filled as of July’s close.

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Overall, July was a strong month for risk assets with all the major asset classes posting gains (including cash, which eked out a fractional 0.2% advance, based on the S&P US T-Bill 0-3 Month Index).

US equities were among the stronger performers last month. The Russell 3000 Index, a broad measure of American shares, rose 5.7% on total return basis. For 2020 to date, the index is up by a modest 2.0%.

The Global Market Index’s revival rolled on in July. This unmanaged benchmark (maintained by, which holds all the major asset classes (except cash) in market-value weights, rose 4.3% last month. The increase marks the fourth straight monthly advance for the benchmark. On a year-to-date basis, GMI is again in positive territory with a slight 0.8% total return.

For the trailing one-year window, GMI’s rally is considerably stronger, posting a 7.3% total return vs. the year-ago level. US stocks (Russell 3000) and US bonds (Bloomberg Aggregate Bond) are doing even better on a one-year basis through July’s close, rising 10.9% and 10.1%, respectively.

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