Market Review: Financials Lead Stocks to Strong Returnspublished by T Rowe Price
Large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks enjoyed a robust quarter with returns in excess of 12%, and growth stocks outperformed value stocks across all market capitalizations. In the large-cap universe, as measured by the S&P 500, all sectors, save utilities, advanced, led by financials and information technology with returns higher than 20%. Financials rallied as the U.S. economy strengthened and the Federal Reserve reported that 15 of the 19 largest banks in the U.S. passed its latest stress test to gauge their ability to withstand a deep financial downturn. Technology shares benefited from strong results from bellwether stocks, and consumer discretionary shares also outperformed the broad market. Materials and industrials narrowly lagged but still delivered double-digit returns. Most remaining sectors produced relatively mild but respectable quarterly gains, while utilities declined as investors embraced more risk.