MutualFunds.com provides weekly information (Feb.21 to Feb.24) 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 hit all-time highs for the third week in a row, with the DJIA closing at 20,822.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 is T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX).
- India Equities is the best performing mutual fund subcategory based on 1-month return.
- 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 hit another new all-time high this week, with the DJIA increasing 0.98% to 20,822 and up 5.36% year-to-date. The S&P 500 gained 0.86% for the week, hitting 2,367. Among the major U.S. indices, the NASDAQ had the smallest increase of the week, up 0.52% for the week to 5,845. With low unemployment, a strong labor market and improving real estate, investors continue to keep their money in U.S. equity markets.
The utility sector was the best-performing area for the week, up 4.13% and up 6.19% YTD. With bond yields dropping, investors may have been seeking yield from the utility sector, which typical pays a steady dividend.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – The MSCI Developed Index had a slight decrease of -0.13%, while the MSCI Emerging Index gained 0.51% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 declined -0.33% for the week and closed at 19,284.
Commodities – The commodity sector showed a slight gain, with oil increasing $0.63 per barrel and closing at $53.99 per barrel. The price of gold increased $17 per troy ounce to reach $1,257. On the other hand, copper had another decrease of $0.04 per pound and closed at $2.68.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields dropped across all maturities, with the 2-year maturity dropping 5 bps, the 10-year maturity dropping 10 bps and the 30-year maturity dropping 7 bps.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields all decreased across the board. Both the 2-year and 10-year AAA-rated yields dropped 8 bps while the 30-year AAA-rated yields dropped 9 bps.
For the seventh week in a row, municipal bond funds had an inflow of $186 million. Investors are still looking for tax-free income and are not too concerned with the effect of rising rates in the near term.
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 1-month fund return generated as of February 24, 2017.
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Cap Growth||3.88%||Plumb Equity||PLBEX||6.38%||Top two sectors invested are technology and financials, which are both performing well for the year.|
|International Equity||India Equity||7.20%||ALPS|Kotak India Growth I||INDIX||7.88%||This fund specializes in India, with the top holding in HDFC Bank (ADR), which is up over 17% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||-1.14%||Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy A||CFHAX||1.86%||Fund invests in commodity options and hedging strategies. With the commodity markets pulling back this week, the fund has been protected with its large cash position.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging Markets Bond||2.07%||Barings Emerg Mkts Dbt Blnded Ttl Ret I||BXEIX||4.53%||Fund invests in fixed income from emerging market countries.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Municipal Bonds||1.10%||Dreyfus High Yield Municipal Bond I||DYBIX||2.62%||Investors are looking at high-yield tax-free bonds to maximize income.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
This fund’s largest holding is in Salesforce.com, Inc (CRM) that is up over 19% YTD.
Top 5 Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of February 24, 2017. Only those funds that are rated 5 stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD returns 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 10 Holdings||Net Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||15.13%||0.91%||61.20%||$3,250||Technology|
|BlackRock Latin America I||MALTX||Latin America Equities||13.87%||1.33%||47.90%||$162||Financial Services|
|Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||India Equities||13.33%||1.96%||32.90%||$90||Financial Services|
|First Eagle Gold I||FEGIX||Precious Metals||13.01%||0.98%||62.70%||$1,220||Basic Materials|
|Fidelity® Select Medical Equip & Systems||FSMEX||Health & Biotech Equities||12.82%||0.76%||62.40%||$2,870||Healthcare|
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.