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Wilshire 5000 Posts First Positive Three-peat monthly Performance Since Beginning of Bear Market in 2007

The Wilshire 5000 Index posted a 5.30 percent total return in May, which represented the index’s third consecutive monthly gain and the first such streak since the bear market began in October 2007, according to Wilshire Associates Incorporated, a leading global independent investment consulting and services firm. The Wilshire 5000 has returned 26.50 percent since the end of February, which is its largest three-month advance since gaining 27.01 percent from August through October 1982.

The U.S. stock market’s recent rally has erased earlier losses to push the Wilshire 5000 into positive territory with a year-to-date return of 4.08 percent. “While it remains to be seen whether the current rally proves to be the start of a secular bull market or merely an upward leg in a continuing bear market, equity investors are relieved to have rebounded 37.84 percent off the March 9, 2009 low,” stated Steven J. Foresti, managing director and head of the Investment Research Group of Wilshire Consulting, a business unit of Wilshire Associates. “In dollar terms, this represents an increase in wealth of $3.1 trillion,” he added.

Performance was strong across the capitalization spectrum in May with total returns of 5.33 percent, 3.78 percent and 4.51 percent for the Wilshire US Large-Cap, Wilshire US Mid-Cap and Wilshire US Small-Cap Indexes, respectively. Microcap stocks surged 11.83 percent to surpass all other size segments, lifting the Wilshire US Micro-Cap Index’s return to 18.16 percent year-to-date. The Energy and Financial sectors led the market higher in May with advances of 11.48 percent and 8.98 percent, respectively. Energy companies were buoyed by a rise in commodity prices, while Financials benefited from signs that the TALF and other government programs were having a positive impact on credit market liquidity.

“Investors celebrated the passing uncertainty from the release of the Treasury stress test and have been encouraged by the recent ability of banks and other financial institutions to successfully access capital market investments to bolster reserves,” commented Foresti.

The Wilshire Global exUS IndexSM benefited from dollar weakness to surge 14.17 percent, easily surpassing the U.S. stock market gain of 5.30 percent. The Wilshire Emerging Markets IndexSM in particular soared 21.77 percent in May, building its year-to-date return to 41.39 percent and highlighting the relative strength of the emerging markets in recent months. On a regional basis, Latin America outperformed Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Middle East & Africa by posting a gain of 20.81 percent as measured by the Wilshire Regional IndexesSM. Middle East & Africa posted the narrowest gain of 12.64 percent for the month of May.