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The utility sector was this week’s top-performing area, up 2.59%, and up 11.50% on a year-to-date basis. The utility sector is typically a defensive sector but the sector is up thanks to companies like NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE:NEE) and Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK), up 1.90% and 1.64% for the week, respectively.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – International markets were mostly positive for the week except the Nikkei. The MSCI Developed Index had an increase of 0.47%. The MSCI Emerging Index had the week’s largest gain, up 1.35% for the week. The MSCI Emerging Market Index is also the best-performing index, moving up 25.01% YTD. On the other hand, Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw a slight decline of 0.09% for the week, closing at 20,100.
Commodities – The commodity sector was a mixed bag this week. Crude oil had a decrease of $0.77 per barrel and closed at $45.77 per barrel. The price of gold increased $28 per troy ounce to close at $1,254. Copper was also up for the week, increasing by $0.03 to close at $2.72.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields all decreased again this week, with the 2-year Treasury decreasing 1 bps. The 10-year Treasury yield had a decrease of 8 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield decreased 10 bps to 2.81%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields also decreased this week. The 2-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 7 bps and the 10-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 10 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 11 bps and is yielding 2.71%. Municipal bond funds saw turned back to inflows this week, gaining $291 million. The largest credit spread among Treasury and muni bonds increased by 4 bps to 55 bps for the 5-year securities.
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Small Cap Value||3.17%||Schneider Small Cap Value||SCMVX||8.06%||The fund's second largest holding is KEMET Corporation (NYSE:KEM), which is up over 150% YTD.|
|International Equity||Latin America Equities||10.79%||Fidelity® Latin America||FLATX||11.43%||The fund invests in Latin American companies, like its largest holding, Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB), which is up over 10% for the last rolling one-month|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||4.21%||AQR Risk-Balanced Commodities Strat R6||QRCRX||7.14%||The fund is currently invested heavily in precious metals, which have performed well in the last month.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging Mkts Local Currency Bonds||2.70%||Barings Emerging Markets Local Ccy Dbt I||BXLIX||4.00%||With global bond yields falling last week, Emerging Market bonds saw the biggest gains.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Muni||0.46%||Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond I||NHMRX||0.90%||With muni bond yields decreasing across the board this week, high-yield munis witnessed marginal gains.|
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700), which is up almost 60% on a year-to-date basis.
Top 5 Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of July 21, 2017. Only those funds that are rated five stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD returns greater than or equal to 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|
|Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl||NCEIX||China Equities||41.08%||1.76%||50.10%||$104||Financial Services|
|Wasatch Emerging India Institutional||WIINX||India Equities||38.54%||2.00%||35.00%||$200||Financial Services|
|Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp IS||MNOPX||Foreign Large Cap Growth Equities||36.30%||5.64%||50.50%||$230||Consumer Defense|
|Matthews Asia Innovators Institutional||MITEX||Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stk||36.29%||1.01%||33.30%||$149||Technology|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities / Technology||35.22%||0.90%||54.60%||$4,970||Technology|
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