According to the data in the Northern Trust Universe, the majority of U.S. institutional investors posted negative returns for the quarter ending June 30 - the third negative quarter in a row for participating plans in the study.

The data is compiled by Northern Trust and represents over 300 institutional investment plans. The findings revealed that corporate and public plans posted median returns of -0.7% for the quarter, with foundations and endowment plans performing better but still reporting negative median returns of -0.1% for the same period.

For the one-year period, returns were even less impressive: medians of -53.1%, -4.3% and -3.1% for corporate funds, public funds and foundation and endowment funds, respectively. The higher allocation to private equity of many foundations and endowments was cited as a factor that resulted in better performance.

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