All sectors within the S&P 500 ended March in positive territory. U.S. stocks posted their first monthly gains since August 2008. Catalysts for the rally included reports that several major banks were profitable in the first two months of the year; the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would spend hundreds of billions of dollars to purchase Treasuries, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities; and the Treasury Department’s plan to help private investors buy distressed assets from banks.
Financials were the most robust sector, followed by materials, information technology, and consumer discretionary. Utilities were weakest, while consumer staples and energy were somewhat stronger. Utilities and consumer staples are normally perceived to be fairly safe havens in times of turmoil. Growth and value were fairly evenly matched across market capitalizations as large-, mid-, and small-cap shares delivered strong gains for the month.
We ended the month of March with a 36.4% return, compared to a 7.7% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and 8.5% for the S&P500 benchmark. Our gains were led by our position in XTNT, which we closed on 03/25/2009 after a nearly 77% gain.
As of April 9, 2009, our portfolio looks as follows:
The ValueHuntr Portfolio is a long-only portfolio of securities trading below intrinsic value, including special situations such as liquidations, mergers, and activist investing.