All equity sectors in the Mercer Defined Contribution Universe posted losses in the fourth quarter, with global stocks taking the biggest hit.
Global equities returned -21.8% for the quarter, compared to -15.3% for the third quarter; the MSCI EAFE index returned -20.0% during the fourth quarter and -20.6% in the third quarter, while the S&P 500 returned -21.9% in the fourth quarter and -8.4% in the previous quarter.
The median international equity fund returned -21.4% in the fourth quarter, compared to -21% in the third quarter, while the median global equity fund returned -22.2% in the fourth quarter vs. -15.5% in the third quarter.
The median domestic large-cap value fund returned -21.4% while the median large-cap growth fund returned -23.1% for the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, the median large-cap value fund returned -7.3% while the large-cap growth fund returned -13.7%.
The median domestic small-cap value fund returned -24.6% while the median small-cap growth fund returned -26.5% for the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, the median small-cap value fund returned -1.2% while the median small-cap growth fund returned -9.8%.
The median core fixed-income fund underperformed the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond index in the fourth quarter by 370 basis points.
The report analyzes quarterly returns of various funds used in defined contributions plans.