The first quarter of 2015 was marked by volatility with wild gyrations in oil prices, domestic equities and currencies. U.S. equity markets were generally positive, but there was a distinct size effect as small stocks led the way, followed by midcap stocks then large stocks. Even more pronounced was the performance of the growth style, which bested the value style by a material amount across the capitalization spectrum.
For the quarter, the Russell 3000 Index posted a 1.80% return, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of positive returns. Oil, which had plunged nearly 50% in 2014, was down about 10% in the quarter, but some stability may be forming in the energy markets. While volatile, the price of gold ended the quarter basically unchanged while the U.S. dollar continued to strengthen against all major currencies.