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The consumer staples sector was the week’s best performer, up 2.05% for the week and up 1.62% for the year. As investors worry about the economy’s future, consumer staples are considered one of the more defensive sectors in the market.
International Equity – International markets were also sluggish for the week, with the MSCI Developed Index decreasing 0.47% for the week and the MSCI Emerging Index down 0.30%. Japan’s NIKKEI showed little gain, up only 0.02% for the week.
Commodities – The commodity sector was mixed, with oil declining $0.59 per barrel, or -1.11%, and closing at $52.42 per barrel. The price of gold continued its positive trend for the fourth week in a row and was up $5 per troy ounce. Copper, on the other hand, declined $0.05 per pound, or -1.88%.
Be sure to check our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Long-term Treasury bond yields increased for the week, while the 2-year Treasury remained flat. Both the 10-year and 30-year Treasuries increased 7 bps and 6 bps, respectively. Now that the Fed has finally raised interest rates, it’s a good time to become familiar with how to rebalance your portfolio based on interest rate hikes.
Municipal Bonds – Short-term AAA-rated 2-year municipal yields dropped 1 bps to 1.12%. The 10-year and 30-year AAA-rated municipals both increased their yields by 12 bps from the week prior. Municipal fund flows showed second consecutive week of inflows, with a $546 million increase of assets.
|Category||Top Subcategory||MTD Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||MTD Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Growth||1.38%||AMREX||10.21%||Fund has large exposure to health care, which is one of the best performing sectors this year.|
|International Equity||Latin American Stock||12.18%||SLARX||13.11%||The Latin American sector is the best performing international sector and this fund specializes in this area|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||2.67%||QRCRX||7.36%||Fund has high exposure to gold, which had big gains for the week.|
|Taxable Bonds||Long Government||2.01%||PEDIX||2.91%||Fund invests in government bonds of longer maturity whose price rose this week.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Munis||1.17%||DYBIX||1.95%||High-yield is the best forming municipal sector, with investors looking to maximize yield|
This fund is heavily invested in gold mining companies, with the top holding Torex Gold Resources Inc (TXG) which is up over 32% year-to-date.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis, as of January 20, 2017. 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.
|Top-Performing Fund||Ticker||Category||YTD Return (%)||Net Expense Ratio (%)||% of Assets in Top 5 Holdings||Net Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|Invesco Gold & Precious Metals Investor||FGLDX||Precious Metals||12.56%||1.54%||23.62%||$289||Basic Materials|
|U.S. Global Investors Gld & Prec Mtls||USERX||Precious Metals||12.07%||2.13%||37.71%||$91||Basic Materials|
|First Eagle Gold||FEGOX||Precious Metals||8.39%||2.14%||40.79%||$1,100||Basic Materials|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||7.87%||0.91%||31.67%||$3,250||Technology|
|BlackRock Latin America Instl||MALTX||Latin America Equities||7.66%||1.33%||33.68%||$162||Financial Services|
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Money Market Funds