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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 were all up this week, with the exception of the NASDAQ Composite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a gain of 0.40% to close at 24,329. The S&P 500 also had an increase of 0.35% for the week, to close at 2,652. The NASDAQ Composite, which was down 0.11%, closed at 6,840. However, the NASDAQ continues to be the best-performing major U.S. index on a year-to-date basis, up 27.07%.
The industrials sector was this week’s top-performing sector and was up 1.38%. This sector consists of companies like Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which was up over 1.87% for the week and up 81.89% on a year-to-date basis.
International Equities – International markets all fell, except the MSCI Developed Market Index, which saw a slight gain of 0.10% to close at 2,005 and is up 22.72% on a year-to-date basis. The MSCI Emerging Index had a decrease of 0.45% for the week, but remains the best-performing index on a year-to-date basis, up 31.74%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also fell slightly this week, by 0.03%, to close at 22,811.
Commodities – The commodity sector was all down this week for the second week in a row, with crude oil falling $1.00 per barrel and closing at $57.36 per barrel. The price of gold decreased $34 per troy ounce to close at $1,245. Copper also saw a decline this week and was down $0.11 to close at $2.98.
Be sure to read important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields all fell this week, with the 2-year Treasury decreasing 1 bps to yield 1.79%. The 10-year Treasury yield decreased 2 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield also decreased 3 bps to 2.77%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields all saw big declines with the 2-year AAA-rated bonds decreasing by 3 bps to yield 1.47%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds saw a large decrease of 16 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 13 bps to yield 2.63%. Municipal bond funds broke its fourth week of inflow trending and saw large outflows of $935 million. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities increased to 48 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 8, 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||3.59%||Ariel Fund Institutional||ATVAX||8.45%||The fund's largest holding is KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR), which is up over 29% YTD.|
|India Equity||1.98%||Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||4.31%||The fund's largest holding is Bajaj Finance Ltd., up over 106% YTD.|
|Broad Basket||-3.20%||Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy I||CFHIX||1.74%||With commodities falling this week, this fund was protected by staying in 52% short-term bonds.|
|Emerging Markets Bonds||1.27%||Goldman Sachs Local Emerg Mkts Dbt Instl||GIMDX||2.09%||With global interest rate yields falling this week, emerging market bonds saw the biggest gains.|
|High Yield Muni||0.30%||Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond A||NHMAX||0.68%||Muni bond yields saw big declines, pushing bond prices higher.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), which is up over 108% on a year-to-date basis.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of December 8, 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||58.92%||1.69%||52.50%||$140||Financial Services|
Leland Thomson Reuters Vntr Cptl Idx I
Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I
Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp IS
|MNOPX||Foreign Large Cap Growth Equities||47.83%||5.64%||55.60%||$529||Consumer Defense|
Matthews Asia Innovators Investor
|MATFX||Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stock||47.24%||1.24%||34.80%||$201||Technology|
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.