While venture capital funds are showing strong returns shown in most time frames, stocks are doing better, according to the latest data from the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and consultancy Cambridge Associates.

Cambridge Associates’ U.S. Venture Capital Index showed higher returns in the quarterly, 3-, 5-, 10- and 20-year horizons. Declines were seen in the 1- and 15-year periods. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 beat the venture capital index in all time time periods except the 15- and 20-year horizons. Nonetheless, the index’s 10-year benchmark continued its climb for the 12th consecutive quarter.

“The surge of the public markets in the first quarter of this year was very difficult to compete with from a returns perspective, yet there is clearly a silver lining if these indices remain strong,” Mark Heesen, president of NVCA, said in a statement. “Venture-backed companies that have been waiting for the right time to go public or an attractive acquisition price will be able to move forward in a favorable manner which will improve valuations across the board. All of these factors will drive improved performance over the remainder of 2013.”

Limited partners received more distributions from VC funds than they paid into funds during the quarter, Theresa Sorrentino Hajer, managing director and venture capital research consultant at Cambridge Associates, said in a statement. But political headwinds weighed heavily on the exit environment for VC funds, as the number of M&A exits and IPOs were seasonably low.

“While confidential registration make it harder to evaluate the backlog of VC-backed companies waiting to go public, it seems likely that the continued strength in the public markets should push many successful companies, which up until now have chosen to stay private, to actively seek an exit,” Hajer said.