MutualFunds.com provides weekly information (March 6 – March 10) 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 finally have a negative week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreating back below the 21,000 mark to 20,903.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 is T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX).
- Large-cap growth equities is the best-performing mutual fund subcategory based on the 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 finally saw a slight pullback after four weeks of positive gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a decline of -0.49% to 20,903 but is still up 5.77% year-to-date. The S&P 500 declined -0.44% for the week, hitting 2,373. Among the major U.S. indices, NASDAQ was the best performer for the week but still had a moderate decline of -0.15% for the week to 5,862. Although this week showed a slight decline, U.S. equity markets still show signs of strength.
The information technology sector had the week’s largest gain, up by 0.55%, while also being up the most on a year-to-date basis, up by 11.46%. This is led by the largest company in the S&P 500, Apple Inc., which is up over 20% on a year-to-date basis.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – The MSCI Developed Index had a slight increase of 0.42%, while the MSCI Emerging Index declined by -0.50% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 had a slight increase of 0.70% for the week and closed at 19,605.
Commodities – The commodity sector declined again overall for the week, with oil seeing a big pullback of -$4.84 per barrel and closing at $48.49 per barrel. The price of gold decreased again by $25 per troy ounce to $1,201. Copper also had a decline of -$0.10 per pound and closed at $2.60.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields increased again for the second week across all maturities, with the 2-year Treasury yield increasing by 5 bps. The 10-year and the 30-year Treasuries also saw big increases, up by 10 bps and 9 bps, respectively.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields also increased across all maturities, with the 2-year AAA-rated municipal yield increased 2 bps. The 10-year and 30-year AAA-rated municipal yields both increased by 6 bps.
For the second week in a row, municipal bond funds posted outflows of -$85 million. With the Fed indicating that there may be a rise in interest rates this month, investors seem to be fleeing from bond funds that are likely to be negatively impacted.
Read Essential Tax Tips for Mutual Funds Investors to learn about 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 return generated as of March 10, 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||2.25%||Biondo Focus Investor||BFONX||7.09%||Top two sectors invested are technology and healthcare, which are both performing well for the year.|
|International Equity||Europe Stock||2.03%||Voya Euro STOXX 50® Index Port I||IDJIX||4.76%||This fund invests in the EURO STOXX 50 Index, a blue-chip list of 50 stocks across 11 Eurozone countries, and is up over 3% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||-5.97||Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy I||CFHIX||0.00%||This fund invests in commodity options and hedging strategies. With oil falling 8% for the week, this fund was invested in cash.|
|Taxable Bonds||Bank Loan||0.53%||Ziegler Floating Rate Institutional||ZFLIX||1.03%||This fund invests in floating rate bonds, which increase when interest rates increase.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Municipal Bonds||0.24%||Oppenheimer Rochester® High Yld Muni A||ORNAX||1.71%||With bond prices falling, high-yield tax-free bond funds tend to perform better, especially against longer maturity bonds.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
This fund’s largest holding is in Salesforce.com, Inc (CRM), which is up more than 21% YTD.
Top 5 Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of March 10, 2017. Only those funds rated 5 stars by Morningstar 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||15.73%||0.91%||61.20%||$3,800||Technology|
|Fidelity® Select Medical Equip & Systems||FSMEX||Health & Biotech Equities||13.93%||0.76%||62.40%||$3,130||Healthcare|
|T. Rowe Price Health Sciences||PRHSX||Health & Biotech Equities||13.32%||0.77%||32.30%||$10,900||Healthcare|
|VALIC Company I Health Sciences||VCHSX||Health & Biotech Equities||13.24%||1.09%||32.10%||$720||Healthcare|
|Hennessy Japan Small Cap Institutional||HJSIX||Japan Stock||13.11%||1.63%||22.10%||$35||Industrials|
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.