Market Update – April 2020

Global stocks (+11.0%) started off the second quarter on a positive note. All equity asset classes posted gains for the month with U.S. small cap stocks (+13.7%) leading the way. Fixed income asset classes were mainly positive with intermediate‐term bonds (+1.4%) and TIPS (+2.8%) being the strongest performers. Alternative asset classes were mixed on the month with commodities and managed futures falling 1.5% and 1.1% respectively, while reinsurance and REITs gained 0.7% and 7.8%. 


  • With many service industries suspending operations, continued unemployment claims rose to 18 million for the week ending April 18.
  • First quarter real GDP fell by 4.8% on an annual seasonally adjusted basis.
  • The Consumer Confidence Index fell by 26.9% as of April 28.


  • During April, U.S. small and small value stocks experienced a strong recovery from intra‐year lows, ending the month up 13.7% and 13.4% respectively.
  • While lagging U.S. markets across the board, international small (+10.6%) and international small value stocks
    (+9.6%) led returns in international markets.
  • Emerging market stocks (+9.2%) also saw a significant recovery during April.


  • Driven by lower interest rates, bond returns were positive for U.S. intermediate‐term bonds (+1.4%) and TIPS
    (+2.8%). U.S. short‐term bonds finished the month flat.
  • International bonds also ended the month positive with gains of 0.9%.


  • Global REITs (+7.8%) and reinsurance (+0.7%) both posted gains for the month while commodities (‐1.5%) and managed futures (‐1.1%) fell.

Economic and Market Commentary

Read our latest Economic and Market Commentary for Market Returns Year-To-Date, Market Returns Longer Term Annualized, Economic Indicators, and an Appendix.

Download Commentary

Source: Morningstar Direct. This is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, investment or financial advice. Please consult your legal, investment and financial professionals regarding your specific circumstances.

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