U.S. stocks gained 5.68% in the first quarter, as measured by the Callan Broad Market index of the 2,000 largest North American firms. Callan's Micro Cap stocks, representing 1,000 companies smaller than those in the broad index, led the pack with 7.08%. The Callan Medium Cap Index, covering 350 stocks, gained 6.02%, and the Callan Small Cap index, covering the bottom 1,500 companies, produced a 5.75% return. The firm's large-cap index, representing the top 150 companies and half of the market capitalization of the broad market, gained 5.49%.
By sector, the leaders were raw and intermediate materials with a 12.10% gain after a weak 1995, followed by consumer cyclicals with 8.6%, and industrial equipment and services with 8.06%.