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The energy sector was this week’s top-performing area, with a positive 2.21% return. With oil seeing a big increase this week, energy stocks benefited. However, the sector is still the worst-performing area on a year-to-date basis, down 6.68%.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – International equities did not perform as well as the U.S. equity markets. The MSCI Developed Index had a slight increase of 0.06%, while the MSCI Emerging Index saw a decline of 1.05% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 continues to fall for the third week in a row, down 1.83%, and closed at 18,909.
Commodities – The commodity sector was the best-performing area, with oil increasing $2.63 per barrel and closing back above the $50 mark to $50.60 per barrel. The price of gold had a moderate decline of $1 per troy ounce to $1,247, while copper increased by $0.02 per pound to close at $2.65.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields declined slightly across all maturities except in the longer term. The two-year Treasury yield decreased by 1 bps to 1.25%. The 10-year Treasury saw a modest decline of 2 bps to 2.39%. The 30-year Treasury remained flat for the week and continues to yield 3.01%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields declined across all maturities, with the two-year AAA-rated bonds decreasing 1 bps to 1.03%. The 10-year AAA-rated municipal decreased by 4 bps while the 30-year decreased by 3 bps. For the second week in a row, municipal bond funds showed inflows of $124 million.
Credit spreads remained relatively unchanged, with the largest spread still remaining between the five-year Treasury and the AAA-rated municipal at 34 bps.
You can also read essential tax tips for mutual funds so that you are aware of key strategies to limit your tax burden.
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Cap Growth||1.04%||Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Instl||BFTIX||3.98%||The fund's largest holding is Amazon, Inc. (AMZN), which is up over 18% YTD.|
|International Equity||India Equities||6.60%||Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||7.92%||The fund invests in India-based companies. The BSE SENSEX Index is up over 11% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||-2.91%||Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy I||CFHIX||-0.36%||Fund invests in commodity options and hedging strategies. With oil falling over 9% YTD, this fund is invested in short-term bonds.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging Markets Bonds||0.68%||Barings Emerg Mkts Dbt Blnded Ttl Ret I||BXEIX||2.67%||Fund invests in bonds of emerging market countries, which have been less affected by interest rate hikes in the U.S.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Municipal Bonds||0.53%||Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-Free Munis Y||OMFYX||3.63%||With bond yields continuing to fall this week, bond mutual funds increased in value.|
This fund is heavily invested in gold, which is up over 5% year-to-date.
Top 5 Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis, as of March 31, 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 10 Holdings||Net Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|Wasatch Emerging India Institutional||WIINX||India Equities||22.92%||2.00%||32.90%||$104||Financial Services|
|Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I||OGIIX||World Stock||18.58%||0.75%||31.50%||$4,080||Technology|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||17.62%||0.90%||61.20%||$3,800||Technology|
|Matthews India Instl||MIDNX||India Equities||17.46%||0.90%||44.60%||$1,770||Financial Services|
|Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp I||MIOIX||Foreign Large Cap Growth Equities||16.41%||1.34%||49.30%||$85||Technology|
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Money Market Funds