- Global financial markets continued to move in a positive direction in May after a sharp decline in the first quarter and a rebound in April. The markets remain volatile due to uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak. The developed and emerging market equity index (MSCI ACWI IMI) increased 4.35% in May and is down -9.16% YTD. The S&P 500, which tracks large cap U.S. stocks, was up 4.76% in May and is down -4.97% YTD. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks domestic small cap stocks, increased 6.51% in May and is down -15.95% YTD. The international developed equity index (MSCI EAFE) increased 4.35% in May and is down –14.26% YTD. The emerging markets index (MSCI EM) increased 0.77% in May and is down –15.96% YTD.
- In May, longer-term bond yields were mixed: the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield increased by 13 bps to 1.41%; the 10-year yield increased by 1 bps to 0.65%; and the 5-year yield decreased by 6 bps to 0.30%.
- The Barclays Aggregate Index, which is a measure of U.S. bond prices, increased 47% for May and is up 5.47% YTD.
ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL HEADLINES
- U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020 decreased -5.00%, according to the “Second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The fourth quarter of 2019 GDP increased 2.1%.
- The May Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) increased to 45.40% from 41.80% in April, which represents the second consecutive month of contraction in the non-manufacturing sector. The increase was above expectations of 44%. The May Manufacturing PMI increased to 43.1% from April’s 41.5%, also representing a second month of contraction. Per the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a reading below 50 is considered economic contraction.
- May non-farm employment increased by 2.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 5, 2020. In May, employment rose sharply in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade. Average Hourly Earnings (wages) increased 6.7% year-over-year in May.
FUND PERFORMANCE UPDATES
- In May, the Equity Fund increased by 5.41% and is down -10.77% YTD. The International Equity Fund increased by 5.56% in May and is down -13.30% YTD. The Small Cap Equity Fund increased by 7.41% in May and is down -12.42% YTD. The Fixed Income Fund increased by 1.42% in May and is up 3.70% YTD.
- All UCF equity managers had positive absolute returns and relative returns, except for Fiduciary Small Cap and LSV, who underperformed compared to the benchmark.
- Most Balanced Funds were ahead of their respective benchmarks in May except the BFF Balanced Fund. The Moderate Balanced Fund, UCF’s most popular fund, increased by 3.81% in May and was down -4.78% YTD. The Aggressive Balanced Fund was up 4.43% in May and was down -7.29% YTD. The Conservative Balanced Fund was up 2.76% in May and was down -1.74% YTD. The Alternatives Balanced Fund was up 3.52% in May and was down -5.01% YTD. Finally, the Beyond Fossil Fuels Balanced Fund increased by 2.92% in May and was down -2.89% YTD.