5 Best Performing Russell 2000 Stocks Of 2014

The Russell 2000 Index has lagged all the major benchmarks for most part of this year. While the major benchmarks have been hitting fresh highs, the same is not the case with the Russell 200 index that comprises small-cap stocks.

The year-over-year performance of the index was disappointing, as well. As of Dec 22, the index has returned only 3.3% this year, compared to 39.8% in 2013.

However, the index has managed to post modest year-to-date gains, thanks to the favorable economic environment prevailing on the domestic front.

The major benchmarks such as the S&P 500 and Dow have returned 12.5% and 8.3%, respectively, much higher than that of the Russell 2000.

Month

Russell 2000

S&P 500

Dow

First Quarter

0.80%

1.30%

-0.70%

Second Quarter

1.70%

4.70%

2.2%

Third Quarter

-7.70%

0.60%

1.30%

Fourth Quarter*

9.10%

5.40%

5.40%

YTD*

3.30%

12.5%

8.30%

*Returns as of Dec 22, 2014

Although the year started on a sluggish note due to the severe winter, the economy gradually recovered later to outperform major global economies. The global economy suffered throughout the year, primarily due to the weakness in the Eurozone and Asia.

U.S. Economy Outperforms

The global economy saw troubled times all through the year. The Russia-Ukraine crisis, which resulted into series of sanctions against Russia, increased geopolitical tensions at the beginning of the year. The crisis was followed by violence in the Middle East.

Moreover, major economies including the Eurozone, China and Japan continued to dampen investor sentiment by providing dismal economic data throughout the year. Meanwhile, a negative trend in oil prices remained one of the main concerns in 2014. The oil price declined below $60 per barrel, dropping to a five-year low level.  

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