Stocks rose amid a brighter outlook for the global economy and better-than-expected corporate earnings. Several key market indexes reached record highs during the quarter, despite increasing tensions with North Korea and the start of a particularly destructive hurricane season. European stocks and emerging markets outpaced U.S. equities.
Economically sensitive stocks generally provided stronger returns than defensive sectors. Information technology, energy and materials stocks led markets higher. Financial stocks also advanced on expectations for rising global interest rates. The consumer staples sector fell, weighed down by a sharp decline in the shares of tobacco companies.
Equity Index Returns (%)