Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: March 16

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Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: March 16

Brian Mathews Mar 16, 2017 provides weekly information (March 6 – March 10) 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.
  • U.S. markets finally have a negative week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreating back below the 21,000 mark to 20,903.
  • The best-performing fund so far for 2017 is T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX).
  • Large-cap growth equities is the best-performing mutual fund subcategory based on the 1-month return.

Market Wrap-Up

U.S. Equities – U.S. equity markets finally saw a slight pullback after four weeks of positive gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a decline of -0.49% to 20,903 but is still up 5.77% year-to-date. The S&P 500 declined -0.44% for the week, hitting 2,373. Among the major U.S. indices, NASDAQ was the best performer for the week but still had a moderate decline of -0.15% for the week to 5,862. Although this week showed a slight decline, U.S. equity markets still show signs of strength.

The information technology sector had the week’s largest gain, up by 0.55%, while also being up the most on a year-to-date basis, up by 11.46%. This is led by the largest company in the S&P 500, Apple Inc., which is up over 20% on a year-to-date basis.

Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.

International Equities – The MSCI Developed Index had a slight increase of 0.42%, while the MSCI Emerging Index declined by -0.50% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 had a slight increase of 0.70% for the week and closed at 19,605.

Commodities – The commodity sector declined again overall for the week, with oil seeing a big pullback of -$4.84 per barrel and closing at $48.49 per barrel. The price of gold decreased again by $25 per troy ounce to $1,201. Copper also had a decline of -$0.10 per pound and closed at $2.60.

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

Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields increased again for the second week across all maturities, with the 2-year Treasury yield increasing by 5 bps. The 10-year and the 30-year Treasuries also saw big increases, up by 10 bps and 9 bps, respectively.

Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields also increased across all maturities, with the 2-year AAA-rated municipal yield increased 2 bps. The 10-year and 30-year AAA-rated municipal yields both increased by 6 bps.

For the second week in a row, municipal bond funds posted outflows of -$85 million. With the Fed indicating that there may be a rise in interest rates this month, investors seem to be fleeing from bond funds that are likely to be negatively impacted.

Read Essential Tax Tips for Mutual Funds Investors to learn about key strategies to limit your tax burden.

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 1-month return generated as of March 10, 2017.

Performance Snapshot: Top Fund

Top-performing fund: T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX)

This fund’s largest holding is in, Inc (CRM), which is up more than 21% YTD.

Top 5 Performers

The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of March 10, 2017. Only those funds rated 5 stars by Morningstar that generated YTD returns 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 section.

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