The top-performing sector in the Index was energy, which returned 12.09%. This was followed by notable performances from both the utilities and information technology sectors, which returned 7.77% and 6.51%, respectively. The bottom performer was financials, returning 2.30%.
U.S. equities provided positive returns in the quarter, driven by positive global economic growth indicators and continued accommodative monetary policy from a range of central banks. The market shrugged off mounting geopolitical risks, including continued instability in Ukraine and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), instead appearing to focus on positive signals from the corporate sector and the global economy in general. Global growth appeared to accelerate during the period after a dismal first quarter resulting partly from an unusually harsh U.S. winter. An increase in U.S. merger and acquisition activity contributed to investor optimism, and upward earnings revisions further boosted the markets. Despite the increased optimism and positive economic results, central banks remained dovish. The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its near-zero short-term rate policy and measured pace of bond purchase tapering, while the European Central Bank went further by introducing a negative deposit rate.
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.