The top-performing sector in the Index was consumer staples, which returned 10.65%. This was followed by notable gains from the utilities and materials sectors, which returned 7.96% and 5.26%, respectively. The bottom performer was information technology, which returned 0.82%.
Global developed markets were generally flat-to-slightly positive in the first quarter, and the United States outperformed its international peers. Several major headlines contributed to negative returns globally during January, including disappointing economic data and continued difficulties in several emerging markets. Investors grew more optimistic in February, as corporate earnings improved and central banks in several large economies indicated continued monetary support. In early March, investors faced a new challenge when Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine. These events resulted in modest market volatility, but stocks subsequently recovered when Vladimir Putin announced that the country had no plans to annex further regions and some Russian troops pulled back.
If you're a moderate risk investor seeking competitive long-term investment returns through a broadly diversified portfolio, this Fund may be appropriate for you. It offers a high degree of relative predictability in an uncertain stock market by seeking investment results, before expenses, approximating the aggregate price and dividend performance of the securities included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index.
- Passively managed, the Fund seeks to duplicate the investment composition and overall performance of the stocks included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index.
- Invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities in the Index, in weightings that approximate the relative composition of the Index.
- Use proprietary quantitative techniques designed to minimize trading costs.