Capital markets provided mixed returns during the first quarter as value-style indices advanced, growth-style indices lagged and fixed income markets declined. A confluence of factors is creating both tailwinds and headwinds in the markets: Approved stimulus measures and proposed infrastructure spending combined with expanding COVID-19 vaccine deployments and easing mobility restrictions are expected to drive corporate earnings growth into the double-digits this year. Conversely, the associated risk of higher inflation and interest rates are pressuring growth-style equity valuations and bond prices. For the first time in years, quarterly performance for the Russell 1000 Value Index has outperformed both the S&P 500 and the Russell 1000 Growth Index by approximately 5.1% and 10.3%, respectively. Fixed income, which benefited last year from declining interest rates, generated a return of -3.4% as rising inflation and interest rate expectations pressured bond prices..

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