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- U.S. equities were all up, except for the NASDAQ Composite.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 continues to be the Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl (NCEIX).
- Mid Cap Blend Equities is the best-performing mutual funds subcategory based on the rolling-month returns.
- Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to keep track of changing trends in the mutual funds space.
U.S. Equities – U.S. equity markets all rebounded this week, with the exception of the NASDAQ Composite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a big increase this week and gained 2.86% to close at 24,323. The S&P 500 also had an increase of 1.53% for the week, to close at 2,642. The NASDAQ Composite, which was down 0.60%, closed at 6,848. However, the NASDAQ continues to be the best-performing major U.S. index on a year-to-date basis, up 27.20%.
The telecom sector was this week’s top-performing sector for the second week in a row, up 6.71%. This sector consists of companies like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which was up over 8.52% for the week.
International Equities – On the contrary, international markets all fell, except the Nikkei 225 this week. The MSCI Developed Market Index fell 0.94% to close at 2,004 and is up 22.60% on a year-to-date basis. The MSCI Emerging Index had a decrease of 3.30% for the week, but remains the best-performing index on a year-to-date basis, up 32.34%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up for its second week in a row and up 1.19% for the week to close at 22,819.
Commodities – The commodity sector was all down this week, with crude oil falling $0.59 per barrel and closing at $58.36 per barrel. The price of gold decreased $8 per troy ounce to close at $1,279. Copper also saw a decline this week and was down $0.08 to close at $3.09.
Be sure to read important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields all showed gains this week, with the 2-year Treasury increasing 5 bps to yield 1.80%. The 10-year Treasury yield increased 6 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield also increased 4 bps to 2.80%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields all gained with the exception of the 30-year AAA-rated bond. The 2-year AAA-rated bonds saw a huge increase of 18 bps to yield 1.50%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds increased 4 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 8 bps to yield 2.76%. Municipal bond funds saw a fourth week of inflows, with a slight increase of $39 million in assets under management. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities continues to remain at 42 bps for the week.
Explore our Mutual Funds Education section to learn more about important mutual funds concepts.
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 one-month return generated as of December 1, 2017.
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
U.S. Equity Fund
|Mid Cap Blend Equities||3.28%||Ariel Fund Institutional||ARAIX||7.46%||The fund's largest holding is KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR), which is up over 29% YTD.|
|Global Equities||1.67%||Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I||OGIIX||11.80%||The fund's largest holding is Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTR), which is up over 313% YTD.|
|Broad Basket||0.50%||PIMCO CommoditiesPLUS® Strategy A||PCLAX||2.64%||With commodities falling this week, this fund was protected by staying in 46% cash.|
|Government Bonds||1.69%||Vanguard Extended Duration Trs Idx InsPl||VEDIX||2.82%||This fund invests in longer-term Treasury bonds, which showed the least amount of decline this week.|
|High Yield Muni||0.49%||Dreyfus High Yield Municipal Bond I||DYBIX||1.39%||With muni bond yields mostly gaining this week, high-yield bonds had the largest gains.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), which is up over 101% on a year-to-date basis.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of December 1, 2017. Only those funds that are rated five stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD returns greater than or equal to that achieved by the S&P 500 are included.
|Name||Ticker||Category||YTD %||Net Expense Ratio||% of Assets in Top 10 Holdings||Total Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl
|NCEIX||China Equities||59.20%||1.69%||51.80%||$138||Financial Services|
Leland Thomson Reuters Vntr Cptl Idx I
Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I
Matthews Asia Innovators Investor
|MATFX||Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stock||47.62%||1.24%||34.80%||$180||Technology|
T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund I Class
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