- Global financial markets were mostly positive in November led by the U.S. The S&P 500, which tracks large cap U.S. stocks, was up 3.63% in November and is up 27.63% Y-T-D. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks domestic small cap stocks increased 4.12% in November and is up 22.01% Y-T-D. The developed and emerging market equity index (MSCI ACWI IMI), increased 2.49% and is up 22.03% Y-T-D. The International developed equity index (MSCI EAFE), increased 1.13% in November and is up 18.17% Y-T-D. The emerging markets index (MSCI EM) decreased -0.14% in November and is up 10.20% Y-T-D.
- In November, longer-term bond yields increased, and prices decreased; the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield increased by 4 bps to 2.21%, the 10-year yield increased by 9 bps to 1.78%, and the 5-year yield increased by 11 bps to 1.62%.
- The Barclays Aggregate Index, which is a measure of U.S. Bond prices, decreased -0.05% for November and is up 8.79% Y-T-D.
ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL HEADLINES
- U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2019 increased 2.1%, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Second-quarter 2019 GDP increased 2.0%.
- The November Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 53.9% from 54.7% in October due to concerns around trade and worker shortages. This was below expectations of 54.5%. The November Manufacturing PMI decreased to 48.1% from October’s 48.3%. Per the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a reading above 50 is considered economic expansion.
- November non-farm employment increased by 266,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 6, 2019. Employment trended positively in health care, restaurants, and transportation jobs. Average Hourly Earnings (wages) increased 3.1% year-over-year.
FUND PERFORMANCE UPDATES
- In November, the Total Equity Fund increased by 2.81% and is up 23.01% Y-T-D. The International Equity Fund increased 1.58% and is up 19.53% Y-T-D. The Small Cap Equity Fund increased by 5.51% and is up 29.65% Y-T-D. The Fixed Income Fund declined 0.11% and is up 8.55% Y-T-D.
- All UCF equity managers had positive absolute returns, and many had positive relative returns in November. For domestic large cap markets, QMA outperformed while Fiduciary underperformed their respective In domestic small cap markets, Westfield, DFA and BlackRock outperformed while Fiduciary underperformed their respective benchmarks. For international markets, developed markets managers Baillie Gifford and LSV outperformed and emerging markets manager RBC outperformed their respective benchmarks.
- All Balanced Funds were above or in-line with their respective benchmarks. The Moderate Balanced Fund, UCF’s most popular fund, increased 1.70% and is up 16.37% Y-T-D. The Aggressive Balanced Fund was up 2.17% and is up 18.88% Y-T-D. The Conservative Balanced Fund returned 0.99% and is up 13.08% Y-T-D. The Alternatives Balanced Fund was up 1.35% and is up 15.17% Y-T-D. Finally, the Beyond Fossil Fuels Balanced Fund increased by 1.72% and is up 14.82% Y-T-D.