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May 2014 Market Commentary

U.S. and international stocks advanced during May and volatility remained heightened amid escalating geopolitical tensions throughout the world.

For the month, the S&P 500 Index rose 2.4%, while the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies ended up 0.8%. Information technology and telecommunications were among the top performing sectors, while utilities lagged. Across market capitalizations, large- and mid-cap companies outperformed small- and micro-cap companies. Meanwhile, growth stocks outperformed their value counterparts.

U.S. fixed income markets moved higher as mixed economic reports sparked demand for U.S. Treasuries. In this environment, long Treasuries outperformed shorter-dated Treasuries. Investment grade corporate securities posted solid results, led higher by utilities-backed issuers. Gains were more subdued among lower quality, higher yielding corporate securities. Other sectors, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), asset-backed securities (ABS), and municipal bonds, all ended higher.

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