You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. There is no assurance that the company's investment objectives will be attained.
With that, I will now turn the conference over to our President and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin McCarthy.
Thanks, Monique, and good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us today for our second quarter 2012 earnings call.
I’ll start today's call with a review of the MLP sector in the broader energy markets during our second fiscal quarter, which ended May 31st. I will also touch briefly on market performance during June and July before we review KED’s performance. Then, Terry Hart, our CFO will discuss our financial performance and guidance before opening the line up to questions.
With that, let’s turn to review of market conditions. The optimism that we saw in the equity markets during the first quarter faded during the second quarter, as the U.S. economic data weakened and concerns about Europe intensified. The S&P 500 Index declined 4.1% during the quarter after rising 9.5% in the first quarter.
MLPs were much weaker in the broader market, with the Alerian MLP Index down 10.5% during the quarter. On a total return basis, which includes cash distributions, MLP returns were negative 9.2% for the quarter while the S&P 500 return was negative 3.5%.
In our view, MLPs faced selling pressure along with the rest of the energy sector as commodity prices fell during the quarter. In addition, MLPs were very active issuing equity in the first two months of the quarter, and as the market declined and the new deal was traded poorly, the sector came under additional selling pressure.
Since the end of our second quarter, MLPs in the broader markets have rebounded nicely. As of July 20th, last Friday, the MLP Index was up 9.5%. Since May 31st, while the S&P 500 Index was up 4%. As of last Friday, the MLP Index is now up almost 14% from its lows in early June and up almost 12% for the fiscal year on a total return basis.