TACOMA, Wash. â Big oil companies and other energy related stocks powered the large-cap Russell 1000? Index to outperform the small-cap Russell 2000? Index in February for the third consecutive month. Unlike January, though, both indexes reflected a positive performance for the month (2.3% for large caps and 1.7% for small caps), and both indexes are hovering near their respective 52-week high.
"After six straight years of small cap leadership, three consecutive months of large cap stock outperformance, however modest, is definitely noteworthy," said Steve Swartley, manager research analyst at Russell. "Even as the U.S. markets reversed course in February after a negative January, large caps maintained their lead over small caps." Swartley added that value stocks at all capitalization tiers also outperformed their growth counterparts.
Overall, Russell's family of 22 U.S. stock indexes reflected a slightly positive February for investors. The broad market Russell 3000? Index gained 2.2%, while the other indexes, which track various market segments, each gained from 0.6% (Russell Top 200? Growth Index ) to 3.5% (Russell Micap? Value Index).
In the Russell 1000, Occidental Petroleum, Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips all shot up more than 20% for the month, while several consumer discretionary stocks such as Amazon.com Inc., Ask Jeeves and Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc each lost nearly 20%. The best performing stock in the Russell 1000 was Accredo Health, Inc. (43.1%), while the top performing stock in the Russell 2000 was Danielson Holding Corp., which gained 98.8%.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of Russell indexes. Russell employs its indexes to objectively evaluate investment managers for multi-manager funds and other investment services. More than $2.5 trillion in assets are benchmarked to Russell indexes, including more than $450 billion is invested in passive index funds that use them as a model.