Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: December 15

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Piles of Coins and Sprouts


Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: December 15

Brian Mathews Dec 15, 2016

  • Both U.S. and international markets show large gains for the week, indicating signs of strong domestic and global economies.
  • Financials continue to maintain their recent uptrend with President Trump expected to loosen banking regulations during his term.
  • Municipal bond funds have had over $9.3 billion in total outflows for the last four weeks, with fearful investors moving out of bond funds and the Fed expected to raise rates at this week’s meeting.

Market Wrap-Up

Financials were up the most for the week, showing a sectoral return of 4.86%. With the Fed meeting this week and the expectation that interest rates will rise, financials are bound to benefit the most. Also, with President Trump’s expected plans to loosen regulations of the financial industry, the sector continues to bounce back. Explore mutual funds that invest in the financial sector.

International Equity – International markets also bounced back similar to U.S. markets, with the MSCI Developed Index up 2.91% and the MSCI Emerging Index up 2.92%. Japan’s NIKKEI Index was also up 3.10%; however, it remains down 0.20% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis.

Commodities – After last week’s huge gains, commodities had little movement, with oil decreasing $0.18 per barrel or -0.34%. The price of gold came down $16/troy ounce or -1.37%. Copper, on the other hand, experienced a minor gain of $0.02/pound or 0.75%.

Be sure to check out important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.

Taxable Bonds – Given the high likelihood of a hike in interest rates this week, Treasury bond prices continued to decrease, pushing up yields across all maturities. Yields for the 10-year and 30-year Treasuries grew 7 bps and 9 bps, respectively. Learn how to rebalance your portfolio based on interest rate hikes.

Municipal Bonds – After last week’s rally, municipal bond prices increased, causing yields to decrease across the board.

The 10-year AAA bond yield decreased by 21 bps and the 30-year AAA bond yield decreased 20 bps from the week before. Municipal fund flows continued the massive outflow trend for the fourth straight week, with over $2 billion for the week and over $9 billion over the last four weeks. Again, investors continued the trend of pulling out of bond funds and into investments not affected by rising interest rates.

Performance Snapshot: Top Fund Category

Performance Snapshot: Top Fund

This fund continues to see strong YTD performance, primarily by having nearly 13% invested in the energy sector, which is up over 27% for the year. The top holding is Texas Pacific Land Trust (TPL), which is up over 166% for the year.

The following table provides the top performing mutual funds on a YTD basis, as of December 9, 2016. Only those funds that are rated 5 stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD return greater than that achieved by the S&P 500 are included.

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