Section Hero Funds

International Opportunities Fund

International Opportunities Fund

4Q19 Commentary1

The U.S. equity market finished 2019 with strong fourth-quarter performance, leading to its best annual gain since 2013. Stocks bounced back from their late-2018 losses in the first quarter of 2019, posted timid gains during the second and third quarters, and finished the year with a rally as trade tensions eased. The S&P 500 Index2 posted a +9.07% return for the quarter, while the Nasdaq Composite Index2 gained +12.47%.

Breaking down the quarter, stocks rose in October on the back of a “Phase One” U.S/China trade deal announcement, and a 25 basis point cut to the Federal Funds rate. During his speech, Fed Chairman Powell indicated that a pause in future rate cuts was likely. November brought new highs for stocks on the back of more progress on trade negotiations and a robust 266,000 increase in non-farm payrolls, a blowout number compared to economists'expectations. In December, the Federal Reserve paused on rates, as expected, and an official date for signing the “Phase One” trade deal was announced.

Recently, Middle East tensions have dominated the headlines following a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, for which Iran retaliated with missile strikes on U.S. army bases in Iraq. Following these developments, President Trump delivered a speech to the country and signaled no further U.S. military strikes are planned, and it appears that Iran's response was also calibrated to avoid further escalation of conflict.

As referenced above, the latest news in the ongoing U.S./China trade conflict is that the Chinese delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu He, China›s key negotiator throughout the negotiation process, traveled to Washington on January 15th and signed the first phase of a U.S./China trade deal in a White House ceremony. This phase includes structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime in intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. Investors viewed this progress on trade relations as overwhelmingly favorable for global markets.

For the quarter, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index2 rose +8.89% (in local currency). Equities in Europe were generally positive as the MSCI Euro Index2 rose +7.89%. Likewise, the MSCI China Index2 was bolstered by cooling trade war-related tensions, returning +14.71%. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index2 posted a substantial +11.84% gain during the period. Last, the price of oil rose +13% during the quarter due to well-publicized and increasingly volatile tensions in the Middle East.

The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury Note broke its declining trend for 2019 as it rose 25 bps during the quarter. The 10-year yield began at 1.66%, but as stock market returns rose throughout the period investors put their appetite for yield aside and instead invested incremental dollars in risk assets, further supporting strong stock momentum. Flows into U.S. equities allowed yields to rise, eventually finishing the quarter at 1.91% for the 10-year note.

On the employment front, the U.S. labor market ended the year with less momentum. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 128,000, 266,000 and 145,000 in October, November and December, respectively. Job growth averaged approximately 176,000 jobs per month for calendar year 2019, compared to the 216,000 average monthly job gain for calendar year 2018.

Meanwhile, confidence among Americans surged to the highest level since October 2000 on brighter views regarding the economy and Americans' personal finances, adding to signs that consumers will continue to support an economic expansion. Bloomberg›s index of consumer comfort rose 1.2 points to 65.1 in the week ended January 5th, marking the index›s seventh advance in eight weeks and demonstrating how positive Americans are feeling amid cooling U.S. trade tensions with China, record stock prices, and the lowest unemployment in a half century.

In terms of the underlying dynamics of equity market performance, growth stocks outperformed that of value stocks, as the MSCI EAFE Growth Index2 and the MSCI EAFE Value Index2 posted returns of 8.45% and 7.82%, respectively.
The Marsico International Opportunities Fund posted a return of 8.01% for the fourth quarter and slightly underperformed its benchmark, the MSCI EAFE Index2, which returned 8.17%.


Primary Detractors4: Stock selection in the Information Technology sector3 was weak and was the primary detractor from performance in the quarter. Stock selection in the Consumer Staples and Health Care sectors was also weak and dampened results. 


Primary Contributors4: Stock selection in the Communication Services and Consumer Discretionary sectors was the largest primary driver to performance in the quarter. The Fund also benefited from an overweight allocation to the strongest-performing sector of the benchmark index, Information Technology.

  

For more information, please click here for the Marsico International Opportunities Fund Quarterly Investment Update.


Performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A Fund's performance, especially for short time periods, should not be the sole factor in making an investment decision. Please keep in mind that our views on investments discussed herein are subject to change at any time and the holdings represented here do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended by Marsico Capital Management, LLC ("MCM"). Certain less-material factors may not be presented.

2 The MSCI EAFE Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Growth Index captures large and mid-cap securities exhibiting overall growth style characteristics across Developed Markets countries around the world, excluding the US and Canada. The growth investment style characteristics for index construction are defined using five variables: long-term forward EPS growth rate, short-term forward EPS growth rate, current internal growth rate and long-term historical EPS growth trend and long-term historical sales per share growth trend. The MSCI EAFE Value Index captures large and mid-cap securities exhibiting overall value style characteristics across Developed Markets countries around the world, excluding the US and Canada. The value investment style characteristics for index construction are defined using three variables: book value to price, 12-month forward earnings to price and dividend yield. The S&P 500 Index is a registered trademark of S&P and is an unmanaged broadly-based index of the common stock prices of 500 large U.S. companies, and includes the reinvestment of dividends. The Nasdaq Composite Index is the market capitalization-weighted index of approximately 3,000 common equities listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The types of securities in the index include American depositary receipts, common stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and tracking stocks, as well as limited partnership interests. The index includes all Nasdaq-listed stocks that are not derivatives, preferred shares, funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or debenture securities. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average Index is a price-weighted average of 225 top-rated Japanese companies listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, excluding ETFs, REITs, preferred equity contribution securities, and tracking stocks (on subsidiary dividend) etc. other than common stocks. Sources of foreign exchange rates may be different between a portfolio and the benchmarks. The MSCI Euro Index captures large cap representation across the 10 Developed Markets countries in the EMU. With 123 constituents, the index covers approximately 70% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization of the EMU. The MSCI China Index captures large and mid cap representation across China H shares, B shares, Red chips, P chips and foreign listings (e.g. ADRs). With 153 constituents, the index covers about 85% of the China equity universe. The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index captures large and mid-cap representation across 24 Emerging Markets (EM) countries. With 846 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country. The indexes mentioned above are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. For comparison purposes, it should be noted that the indexes do not charge fees and have no expenses. Sources of foreign exchange rates may be different be­tween a portfolio and the benchmarks. The indexes mentioned above are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. For comparison purposes, it should be noted that the indexes do not charge fees and have no expenses.

Sector and industry weightings are determined using the Global Industry Classification Standard (“GICS”). GICS was developed by and is the exclusive property and service mark of MSCI Inc. (“MSCI”) and Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), and is licensed for use by MCM. Neither MSCI, S&P, MCM, nor any third party involved in compiling GICS makes any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to such standard or classification (or the results from use thereof), and all such parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any such standard or classification. MSCI, S&P, and MCM, and any of their affiliates or third parties involved in compiling GICS shall not have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

Source: UMB Fund Services, Inc., FactSet and Marsico Capital Management, LLC (“MCM”). Data shown such as portfolio holdings, percentages, country, and sector weightings generally applied on the date shown above, and may have changed substantially since then. References to specific securities and sectors are not recommendations to buy or sell such securities or related investments.

Investment Insights and Performance

Gain insights on investing strategies and receive quarterly Marsico Funds performance updates.

Please consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information about the Fund, click here or call 888-860-8686. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investments in mutual funds carry risks and investors may lose principal value. Click here for the principal risks of investing in the Funds. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing as it explains the risks associated with investing in the mutual funds.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Recent performance may have been negative.

UMB Distribution Services, LLC, is the distributor of The Marsico Investment Fund. Check the background of UMB Distribution Services on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

©2020 Marsico Capital Management, LLC
Powered by a SySys content and data management system.