MutualFunds.com provides weekly information (Jan. 10-Jan. 16) about any material impact on the mutual funds industry due to major economic and corporate events around the world. In addition, performance statistics on the top funds and fund categories are also provided.
- Dow Jones Industrial Index (DJIA) and S&P 500 decline, but NASDAQ remains strong.
- Gold and copper had big moves for the week, up 2.73% and 4.31%, respectively.
- The best-performing fund for 2017 so far is the US Global Investors Gold & Precious Metals (USERX).
- Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to get the whole picture.
U.S. Equity – U.S. equities were sluggish for the week, with the DJIA decreasing 0.39% for the week at 19,886. The S&P 500 was down 0.10% for the week and reached 2,275. The NASDAQ was the best performing US index, up 0.96% for the week at 5,574 and hit a new all-time high on Thursday.
The consumer discretionary sector was the week’s best performer, up 0.84% for the week and up more than 3% for the year. This is likely due to the strength in the economy, which is causing consumers to spend more of their income on discretionary items.
International Equity – Unlike the U.S. markets, the international markets were up, with the MSCI Developed Index increasing 0.82% for the week and the MSCI Emerging Index up 1.69%. Japan’s NIKKEI corrected from the week before, down 0.86% for the week. The Yen dropped 1.61% compared to the dollar over the last week, partially contributing to the poor performance in the NIKKEI.
Commodities – The commodity sector was mixed, with oil down $1.62 per barrel, or 3.00%, and closing at $52.37 per barrel. The price of gold continued its positive trend for the third week in a row and was up $23 per troy ounce. Copper continued to show a positive trend with a big gain this week, up $0.14 per pound or 5.49%.
Be sure to check our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – The Treasury bond yields all declined for the week, with the 2-year Treasury yield decreasing 2 bps to 1.19%. Both the 10-year and 30-year treasuries went down by 2 bps. Now that the Fed has finally raised interest rates, become familiar with how to rebalance your portfolio based on interest rate hikes.
Municipal Bonds – Along with Treasuries, municipal bond yields also decreased across the board.
Both the 2-year AAA-rated and the 10-year AAA-rated municipal bond yields decreased 7 bps and 10 bps, respectively, from the week before. The 30-year AAA-rated municipal bond yield declined 9 bps from the week prior. Municipal fund flows finally showed inflows of $79 million, recovering from a 7-week trend of outflows.
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund Category
The following table provides a list of the top-performing mutual fund subcategories for the previous week within the broader categories of industry. In each of those subcategories, we have listed the top mutual funds based on month-to-date (MTD) fund return generated as of Jan. 13, 2017.
|Category||Top Subcategory||MTD Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||MTD Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Growth||1.51%||AMREX||7.16%||Fund has large exposure to health care, which is one of the best-performing sectors this year.|
|International Equity||Latin American Stock||6.57%||SLARX||7.80%||The Latin American sector is the best-performing international sector and this fund specializes in this area.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||0.97%||QRCRX||3.02%||Fund has high exposure to gold, which had big gains for the week.|
|Taxable Bonds||Long Government||2.67%||PEDIX||4.82%||Fund invests in government bonds of longer maturity. As Treasury yields dropped, long-term bond prices rose the most.|
|Municipal Bonds||Muni California Long||1.65%||NHCAX||2.88%||With bond yield declining over the past week, high-yield bonds had big gains.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
This fund is heavily invested in gold mining companies, with the top holding Klondex Mines Ltd. (KLDX) up more than 10% for the year.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis, as of Jan. 13, 2017. Only those funds that are rated 5 stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD return greater than that achieved by the S&P 500 are included.
|Top-Performing Fund||Ticker||Category||YTD Return (%)||Net Expense Ratio (%)||% of Assets in Top 5 Holdings||Net Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|US Global Investors Gld & Prec Mtls||USERX||Precious Metals||11.51%||2.13%||37.71%||$91||Basic Materials|
|Invesco Gold & Precious Metals Investor||FGLDX||Precious Metals||10.89%||1.54%||23.62%||$289||Basic Materials|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||7.41%||0.91%||31.67%||$3,250||Technology|
|First Eagle Gold||FEGOX||Precious Metals||7.13%||2.14%||40.79%||$1,100||Basic Materials|
|Fidelity Select Medical Equip & Systems||FSEMX||Health & Biotech Equities||6.49%||0.76%||45.90%||$2,660||Healthcare|
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.