David Fleer
Bristlecone Value Partners, LLC
12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 320
Los Angeles, CA 90025 USA
Work 1-877-806-4141

1st Quarter 2015 Review: Growth beats Value, International beats Domestic, and Small Cap beats Large Cap

April 17th, 2015

Despite some domestic economic headwinds, Euro-zone tension following January Greek elections, and expectations that the US Federal Reserve (the ‘Fed’) is ready to start raising short-term rates, the US stock market as measured by the S&P 500 managed to eke out a small 1% gain during this year’s first quarter.

In the US, economic headwinds included bad weather on the East Coast, a strong dollar, and a labor dispute in West Coast ports that interrupted exports. The unemployment picture continues to improve and wages appear to finally be picking up. Europe is still barely growing at all and China’s growth continues to moderate. These contrasts in economic fortunes, combined with the Fed’s more hawkish stance, appear to be the reasons behind the US dollar’s relative strength, a trend which is not helping US companies that sell their products or services overseas.

According to Morningstar, Large Capitalization (‘Cap’) Growth funds outpaced their value competitors (up 3.5% vs. 0.2%); Small Cap Growth funds advanced 5.8%, also beating their value peers (up 2.3%). Foreign markets were up 3.8% (MSCI Ex US index) despite the currency headwinds, with Japan one of the better performers. European markets were buoyed by the European Central Bank’s bond buying program. Again, foreign growth funds outpaced value. Read the rest of this entry »

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