Stock market investors enjoyed robust returns in the first quarter, as the economy seemed to be achieving a "soft landing" engineered by the Federal Reserve.
Market participants perceived slow but sustainable growth with low inflation, despite the decline of the dollar and the soaring U.S. trade deficit, according to Callan Associates Inc., San Francisco.
Callan's Broad Market index, a proxy for the largest 2,000 U.S. companies, soared 9.08%, the highest quarterly return since the first quarter of 1991.
Within the broad equity market, Callan's Medium Cap Index, with companies ranging from $2 billion to $6 billion in market capitalization, enjoyed a 10% return. The Large Cap Index, of the 150 largest companies, recorded a 10% return, and the Small Cap Index, covering the bottom 1,500 companies, returned 7.71%.
The euphoria affected all 10 economic sectors covered in the broad index, led by financials, with a 12.73% gain.