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1st Quarter 2016 Market Commentary
Domestic equity indices finished the quarter mixed following a period of heightened volatility to start the year. International markets also faced dispersion as developed nations struggled with higher debt burdens and lower growth. Emerging markets benefited from a lower U.S. dollar and dovish stance by the Federal Reserve. All fixed income sectors ended in positive territory during the volatile first quarter, especially emerging markets debt, which has been the best performing asset class thus far in 2016.
For the quarter, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.3%, while the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies fell 1.5%. The industrials, telecommunications, materials and utilities sectors were the top performers, while financials and healthcare were weaker. Across market capitalizations, mid-cap securities generally outperformed their large- and small-cap counterparts. Across styles, value outperformed growth across all market capitalizations.