Global equity markets rode a wild roller coaster in the first quarter of 2018. Enthusiasm for recently implemented U.S. tax cuts propelled U.S. equity indices sharply higher early in the quarter. This in turn lifted U.S. interest rates, but was met by a falling U.S. dollar. Domestic market momentum spilled over into shares in emerging markets which rose at near double-digit rates.
Later in the quarter, however, fears of a “global trade war” and concerns about technology company breaches of user data privacy catalyzed a broad sell-off. Many of the global indices, excluding the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index2, finished the quarter modestly down.
For the quarter, the S&P 500 Index2 fell by -0.76% while the NASDAQ Composite Index rose by +2.59%. Meanwhile, the MSCI Euro Index2 fell by -0.42% and the Nikkei2 fell by -5.14% (in local currency). The relative underperformance of Europe and Japan reflects the fact that U.S. shares rose much more dramatically early in the quarter.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index2 followed a pattern similar to U.S. shares, registering a +1.42% gain for the quarter. Chinese shares fared worse (MSCI China Index2 fell -1.63% in local currency), no doubt reflecting the announcement of proposed U.S. tariffs on a number of Chinese products, which came late in the quarter.
In terms of market capitalization, small capitalization stocks fared slightly better than large, although performance was almost flat during the quarter as the Russell 10002 and Russell 2000 indexes posted quarterly returns of -0.69% and -0.08%, respectively. A larger gap of outperformance was present between growth and value stocks as the Russell 1000 Growth2 and the Russell 1000 Value2 indexes posted quarterly returns of 1.42% and -2.83%, respectively.
The Marsico Flexible Capital Fund posted a return of -1.81% for the first quarter, underperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index, which returned -0.76%.
Primary Detractors4: Stock selection in the Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology sectors3 was the largest detractor from performance during the period. Also, stock selection in the Industrials and Health Care sectors had a negative impact on performance.
Primary Contributors4: Stock selection in the Consumer Staples and Financials sectors was the primary driver of performance during the quarter. Also, having no exposure to the weak-performing Energy sector boosted returns.
For more information, please click here for the Marsico Flexible Capital Fund Quarterly Investment Update.
1 Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A Fund's performance, especially for short time periods, should not be the sole factor in making an investment decision. Please keep in mind that our views on investments discussed herein are subject to change at any time and the holdings represented here do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended by Marsico Capital Management, LLC ("MCM"). Certain less-material factors may not be presented.
2 The S&P 500 Index is a registered trademark of S&P and is an unmanaged broadly-based index of the common stock prices of 500 large U.S. companies, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The Russell 1000 Index measures the performance of the large-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. It is a subset of the Russell 3000 Index and includes approximately 1000 of the largest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. The Russell 2000 Index is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index representing approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index. It includes approximately 2000 of the smallest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The Russell 1000 Growth Index measures the performance of the large-cap growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The Russell 1000 Value Index measures the performance of the large-cap value segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower expected growth values, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index captures large and mid-cap representation across 23 Emerging Markets (EM)
countries. With 835 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the
free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country. The
NASDAQ Composite Index is
the market capitalization-weighted index of approximately 3,000 common equities listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The types of securities in the
index include American depositary receipts, common stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and tracking stocks, as well as limited partnership interests. The
index includes all Nasdaq-listed stocks that are not derivatives, preferred
shares, funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or debenture securities. The MSCI China Index captures large and mid cap representation
across China H shares, B shares, Red chips, P chips and foreign listings (e.g.
ADRs). With 12 constituents, the index covers about 85% of the China equity
universe. The MSCI Euro Index captures large cap representation across the 10 Developed Markets countries in
the European Monetary Union (“EMU”). With 124 constituents, the index covers
approximately 70% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization of the EMU. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average Index is a
price-weighted index comprised of 225 top-rated Japanese companies listed in
the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, excluding ETFs, REITs, preferred
equity contribution securities, and tracking stocks (on subsidiary
dividend), etc., other than common stocks. Sources of foreign exchange rates
may be different between a portfolio and the benchmarks. The indexes mentioned
above are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. For comparison
purposes, it should be noted that the indexes do not charge fees and have no
3 Sector and industry weightings are determined using the Global Industry Classification Standard (“GICS”). GICS was developed by and is the exclusive property and service mark of MSCI Inc. (“MSCI”) and Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), and is licensed for use by MCM. Neither MSCI, S&P, MCM, nor any third party involved in compiling GICS makes any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to such standard or classification (or the results from use thereof), and all such parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any such standard or classification. MSCI, S&P, and MCM, and any of their affiliates or third parties involved in compiling GICS shall not have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
4 Source: UMB Fund Services, Inc., FactSet, and Marsico Capital Management, LLC “(MCM”). Data shown such as portfolio holdings, percentages, country, and sector weightings generally applied on the date shown above, and may have changed substantially since then. References to specific securities and sectors are not recommendations to buy or sell such securities or related investments.