October was certainly a rollercoaster ride in the equity markets but it was a ride that ended right where it started. The average stock in the MSCI World Index was up 13 basis points over the past month. Utilities led the way higher, followed closely by health care. The energy sector took a beating as it was down over 9%, nearly 3x lower than the 2nd worst sector (materials). Year-to-date, health care and utilities are by far the largest outperformers. The average stock in the MSCI World Index is up only 1.6% ytd, while the utilities sector is up over 10% and the health care sector is up nearly 15%.
By region, North American equities performed the best of the developed market regions. MSCI North American stocks were up 1.7% last month, while MSCI Pacific was basically unchanged and MSCI Europe was down -2.3%.
MSCI North America
The EM stock market was only marginally higher in October as well. Health care was again the leading sector, followed by financials and consumer staples. Energy was also the worst performing sector in the EM equity markets.
By region in the emerging markets, EM Asia performed the best followed by EM EMEA and EM Latin America.
EM Latin America