In sharp contrast to last year, U.S. equities triumphed in 2019, with the S&P 500® up 31%, its biggest annual gain since 2013. Easing trade tensions and Fed accommodation renewed optimism about the economic outlook. Mega-caps dominated as gains for the S&P MidCap 400® and the S&P SmallCap 600®, 26% and 23% respectively, lagged the S&P 500.
International markets also gained, with the S&P Developed Ex-U.S BMI up 23% and the S&P Emerging BMI up 20%.
High Beta was the best performing factor, followed by Quality; not unrelatedly, Information Technology was the best performing sector, up a remarkable 50%. Meanwhile, Value outperformed Growth for the first time in three years.