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Morningstar Market Commentary: First Quarter 2009

Stocks embarked on a torrid, but bumpy run.

Sanjay Arya, 04/14/2009

Despite a magnificent run toward the end of the quarter, the Morningstar US Market Index fell 11%. Market participants are now left wondering if March lows marks the bottom or merely the start of a bear-market rally. With corporate-earnings season around the corner, some of this uncertainty should be alleviated in the upcoming weeks.

In our quarter-end review, Travis Pascavis, director of equity indexes, provides insight into the market's performance.

Click here to access the Morningstar Market Commentary.

A recap of the key observations:

* Growth beats value. Growth stocks lagging performance over the past decade was reversed. The Morningstar US Growth Index was down 1.4% for the quarter, while the Morningstar US Value Index was down 16%.

* Divergence remains in bonds. A decoupling within the U.S. domestic corporate bond market has occurred, as the financial sector and nonfinancial sectors move in opposite directions. Overall, bonds held up fairly well with the Morningstar Core Bond Index posting a modest 0.30% gain.

* Commodities continue to wilt. The Morningstar Long-Only Index fell 4% in the quarter.

To access the report, please click on this link: Morningstar Market Commentary.

Sanjay Arya is director of Morningstar Indexes.

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