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Quality, Liquidity And Large-Cap Growth Lead 2019 Factor Returns

The escalating trade battle between the US and China shows no sign of easing, which raises questions about the outlook for US equities. Based on year-to-date results, however, across-the-board gains continue to prevail for the major US equity factors, based on a set of exchange-traded funds.

The strongest performers – quality and liquidity factors — are essentially tied so far in 2019 through yesterday’s close (May 15). Leading the way by a hair: iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor (NYSE:QUAL), which is up 16.5%. Vanguard US Liquidity Factor (NYSE:VFLQ) is trailing by two basis points. In third place: iShares S&P 500Growth (NYSE:IVW), which is up 16.2% year to date.

Perhaps more importantly, all the major US equity factor ETFs are posting solid gains this year. The laggard, in relative terms, is Vanguard High Dividend Yield (NYSE:VYM), which is currently posting a 10.6% advance.

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