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- U.S. equities were all up this week, with several indices reaching new highs.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 continues to be the Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl (NCEIX).
- India 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 Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 1.33% to close at 24,652 for a new all-time high. The S&P 500 also had an increase of 0.92% for the week, to close at 2,676. The NASDAQ Composite was up 1.41% and closed at 6,937. The NASDAQ continues to be the best-performing major U.S. index on a year-to-date basis, up 28.86%.
The telecommunications sector was this week’s top-performing sector, up 1.38%. This sector consists of companies like AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which were up over 4.23% and 2.72% for the week, respectively.
International Equities – International markets were all up this week except the Nikkei 225. The MSCI Developed Market Index saw a slight gain of 0.14% to close at 2,008 and is up 22.90% on a year-to-date basis. The MSCI Emerging Index had an increase of 0.71% for the week and remains the best-performing index on a year-to-date basis, up 32.68%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell this week by 1.13%, to close at 22,553.
Commodities – The commodity sector was all up except crude oil, which fell $0.06 per barrel to close at $57.30 per barrel. The price of gold increased $9 per troy ounce to close at $1,254. Copper also saw a gain this week and was down $0.16 to close at $3.13.
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 exception of the 2-year Treasury, which gained 5 bps to yield 1.84%. The 10-year Treasury yield decreased 3 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield decreased 8 bps to 2.69%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields all saw increases with the exception of the 2-year AAA-rated bonds, which had no change and continues to yield 1.47%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds saw a gain of 3 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds gained 3 bps to yield 2.66%. Municipal bond funds returned back to inflows this week, with an increase of $70 billion in assets under management. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities increased to 51 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 15, 2017.
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
U.S. Equity Fund
|Large Value Equities||4.77%||HCM Dividend Sector Plus A1||HCMWX||9.36%||The fund's largest holding is AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), which is up over 56% YTD.|
|India Equity||4.80%||Wasatch Emerging India Institutional||WIINX||6.46%||The fund's largest holding is Bajaj Finance Ltd., which is up over 105% YTD.|
|Broad Basket||-1.58%||Harbor Commodity Real Return ST Admin||HCMRX||0.80%||With commodities falling this week, this fund was protected by staying in 62% short-term bonds.|
|Total Bond Market||1.27%||SEI Long Duration A (SIIT)||LDRAX||19.17%||With longer-term bond yields falling this week, this fund had a big gain with 100% invested in long-term bonds.|
|High Yield Municipal Bonds||0.47%||Dreyfus High Yield Municipal Bond C||DHYCX||0.97%||With muni yields gaining, high-yield bonds managed to have some gains.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), which is up over 115% on a year-to-date basis.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of December 15, 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||60.81%||1.69%||52.50%||$140||Financial Services|
Leland Thomson Reuters Vntr Cptl Idx I
Matthews Asia Innovators Investor
|MATFX||Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stock||50.12%||1.24%||34.80%||$201||Technology|
T. Rowe Price Global Technology I
Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I
We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News section.