MutualFunds.com provides weekly information (Jan.30 to Feb.3) 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.
- U.S. markets rebounded Friday after positive jobs market data.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 is First Eagle Global I (FEGIX).
- India equities is the best month-to-date performing mutual fund subcategory.
- Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to keep track of changing trends.
U.S. Equities – U.S. equity markets were relatively flat after last week’s big gains, with the DJIA decreasing 0.11% to 20,071. The S&P 500 gained 0.12% for the week, reaching 2,297. The NASDAQ also saw a small increase, up 0.11% for the week to 5,667 and up 5.27% year-to-date. The market was down for the week until jobs data on Thursday and Friday surpassed expectations in a positive way.
Healthcare stocks had the week’s biggest gains, up 2.51% and up 3.79% year-to-date. Investors are beginning to take advantage of the lower valuations prevalent in this sector, which experienced a very volatile 2016.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – The MSCI Developed Index showed little movement, up only 0.04%, while the MSCI Emerging Index demonstrated a slightly better gain, up 0.33% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI declined significantly, down 2.82% for the week.
Commodities – The commodity sector showed moderate gains, with oil increasing $0.66 per barrel, or 1.23%, and closing at $53.83 per barrel. The price of gold bounced back and increased $30 per troy ounce. However, copper decreased $0.07 per pound, or -2.64%.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Shorter-term maturity yields decreased for the week, with the 2-year Treasury yields decreasing 2 bps and the 10-year Treasury yields decreasing 2 bps. The longer 30-year Treasury yields increased 3 bps compared to the week before.
Municipal Bonds – Shorter-term municipal yields also dropped, with the AAA-rated 2-year municipal yields declining 1 bps and the AAA-rated 10-year municipal yields declining 2 bps. The AAA-rated 30-year municipals increased slightly, up 1 bps to 3.13%. Municipal fund flows showed a fourth consecutive week of inflows, with an $84 million increase in assets.
In this context, you can also read about essential tax tips for mutual funds, so that you are aware of key strategies to limit your tax burden.
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 the industry. In each of these subcategories, we have listed the top mutual funds based on the month-to-date (MTD) fund return generated as of February 3, 2017.
|Category||Top Subcategory||MTD Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||MTD Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Mid Cap Growth||3.68%||Tocqueville Opportunity||TOPPX||8.22%||Fund has large exposure to technology and healthcare companies, with its largest holding in TESARO Inc. (TSRO) up over 20% YTD.|
|International Equity||India Equities||9.46%||Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||10.93%||Fund specializes in companies in India; the BSE SENSEX Index is up over 6.8% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||2.49%||AQR Risk-Balanced Commodities Strategy N||ARCNX||7.31%||Fund has high exposure to gold, which continues to show gains.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging Market Bonds||2.19%||Ashmore Emerging Mkts Corp Debt Instl||EMCIX||4.28%||Fund invests in corporate bonds from emerging markets.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Munis||0.78%||Dreyfus High Yield Municipal Bond I||DYBIX||1.68%||High-yield is the best forming municipal sector, with investors looking to maximize yield.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
This fund is heavily invested in gold, which is up over 5% year-to-date.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis, as of February 3, 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|
|First Eagle Gold I||FEGIX||Precious Metals||12.01%||0.98%||36.12%||$1,220||Basic Materials|
|Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||India Equities||11.67%||1.96%||18.57%||$90||Financial Services|
|BlackRock Latin America I||MALTX||Latin America Equities||11.61%||1.33%||33.68%||$162||Financial Services|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||11.04%||0.91%||31.67%||$3,250||Technology|
|Ivy Emerging Markets Equity I||IPOIX||Emerging Markets Equities||10.24%||1.22%||21.14%||$598||Technology|
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.