In the second quarter, the US equity market climbed to new all-time highs due to sustained macro-economic tailwinds and a consistently accommodative Fed. As of June 30, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) appreciated by more than 6% in 2014 and the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) rose by more than 5%.
Leading the market in the second quarter were stocks in the information technology, financials, healthcare and consumer discretionary sectors. The market’s strength from 2013 continued but witnessed a rotation into less volatile larger capitalization stocks. As a result, the two-year cumulative returns for both large and small capitalization indices as of June 30 are roughly equal, approximating 45%.
Equity markets have been buoyed by both corporate and consumer strength and despite the weather related slowdowns in the first quarter, the domestic economy appears to be back on track. Economists anticipate a resumption of the slow and steady growth trajectory with GDP in the 3% range in the second half of 2014.
Positive economic indicators include the lowest unemployment rate in six years, continued growth in real weekly earnings, the Purchasing Managers’ Index trending higher in each month of 2014, and an acceleration of durable goods orders. Combining these macro-economic reports with benign inflation and more access to credit for consumers and corporations with solid corporate profitability has also added fuel to the market rally.
In 2013, Redwood Investments, which manages the U.S. Equity Large Cap Core portfolio, emphasized secular growth stocks. Starting in late 2013 and continuing in 2014, however, Redwood reduced its exposure to higher growth, higher valuation stocks while increasing exposure to more attractively valued cyclical growth stocks.
Near the end of 2013, valuations of high growth stocks appeared excessive and Redwood anticipated broader economic growth, which would discount the scarcity value assigned to secular growth stocks. This investment thesis has played out as anticipated and these changes have benefited clients. Redwood’s absolute and relative investment performance results have been strong.
While Redwood’s intermediate and long-term stock market outlook remains positive, in the near term we are more cautious. The markets have appreciated strongly without a market correction and many areas of the world, especially Russia/Ukraine and the Middle East, are troubled with both geopolitical and economic risks. The Redwood investment team remains focused on building portfolios of attractively valued stocks that have strong earnings prospects and are best positioned for the current environment.
To learn more about how Covestor works, contact our Client Advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.866.825.3005. Or you can try Covestor’s services with a free trial account.
DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of July 31, 2013. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Redwood Investments was founded in 2004 and strives to deliver consistent and superior investment performance drawing from the deep experience of our investment team. We use a rigorous stock selection process and invest only in our firm’s best ideas. Our firm believes that long-term outperformance is driven by stocks with attractive valuations, rising earnings estimates, high profit margins and superior management practices.
The investment portfolios offered at Covestor are overseen by Jennifer K. Silver, CFA and Michael J. Mufson, CFA, co-founders and Redwood’s managing partners.
Ms. Silver is responsible for day-to-day management of the firm, and is co-portfolio manager for all investment strategies. Previously, she was Managing Director and Head of Growth Equity at Neuberger Berman. She also spent 16 years at Putnam Investments, culminating with a senior leadership role as a Managing Director.
Mr. Mufson is also responsible for day-to-day management of the firm and is co-portfolio manager for all investment strategies. He has 25 years of investment experience and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society. Before Redwood, he was a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Putnam Investments and member of the Executive Committee.