Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: December 15

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Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: December 15

Brian Mathews Dec 15, 2016 provides weekly information (December 5 – December 12) 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.
  • 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

U.S. Equity – U.S. equities bounced back from the previous week in a roaring fashion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 3.06%, and closes out the week at a record high of 19,757. The S&P 500 recovered and was up 2.08% to 2,260. The NASDAQ had the week’s biggest gains, with a return of 3.59% to 5,444. This shows that investors are still confident in the current status of the economy. The market also seems to favor the tax reformation and fiscal stimulus plans proposed by incoming President Trump. However, U.S. Equity mutual funds reported outflows of -$8.86 billion for the week, suggesting investors may be reallocating to low-cost investments (eg. ETFs) or purchasing individual stocks.

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

The following table provides a list of the top performing subcategories for the previous week within the broader categories of the mutual fund industry. In each of those subcategories, we have listed out the top mutual funds based on month-to-date (MTD) fund return generated as of December 9, 2016.

Performance Snapshot: Top Fund

Top performing fund: Hodges Institutional (HDPIX)

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.

We provide this report on a weekly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, return to our News page.

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