Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: August 24

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Mutual Funds Weekly Roundup: August 24

Brian Mathews Aug 24, 2017 provides weekly information 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. equities decline for the second week in a row while most international equities gain.
  • The best-performing fund so far for 2017 continues to be the Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl (NCEIX).
  • Latin America Equities is the best-performing mutual fund subcategory based on the rolling month.
  • Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to keep track of changing trends in the mutual funds space.

Market Wrap-Up

U.S. Equities – U.S. equity markets were all down for the second week in a row, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 0.84% to close at 21,675. The S&P 500 had a decrease of 0.65% for the week, closing at 2,426. The NASDAQ Composite Index declined 0.64% for the fourth week in a row to close at 6,217. However, NASDAQ is still the best-performing major index on a year-to-date basis, up 15.48%.

The utilities sector was this week’s top-performing area, up 1.49%. The sector is considered defensive in nature and where investors flock to when they are worried about market pullbacks. The sector performed well last week thanks to companies like NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE), which was up 1.87% and up over 25% on a year-to-date basis.

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

International Equities – On the contrary, international markets were up, with the exception of the Nikkei. The MSCI Developed Index increased of 0.07% to close at 1,917. The MSCI Emerging Index had a larger increase of 1.64% for the week and still remains the best-performing index on a year-to-date basis, up 25.15%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw another week of decline, dropping 1.31% to close at 19,470.

Commodities – The commodity sector decreased, apart from copper. Crude oil declined $0.31 per barrel and closed at $48.51 per barrel. The price of gold decreased $2 per troy ounce to close at $1,286. Copper was up slightly for the week, increasing by $0.03 to close at $2.94.

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

Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields were a mixed bag across all maturities. The 2-year Treasury gained 2 bps to yield 1.31% this week. The 10-year Treasury yield remained unchanged, while the 30-year Treasury yield decreased 1 bps to 2.78%.

Municipal Bonds – Similar to Treasury yields, municipal yields also showed no pattern. The 2-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 1 bps. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds gained 3 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bond gained 4 bps and yields 2.77%. Municipal bond funds saw inflows for the fifth week in a row, pulling in $487 million. The largest credit spread among Treasury and muni bonds increased by 4 bps to 60 bps for the 5-year securities.

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 one-month return generated as of August 18, 2017.

Performance Snapshot: Top Fund

Top-performing fund: Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl (NCEIX)

The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700), which is up over 71% on a year-to-date basis and around 9% for the trailing one-month.

Top 5 Performers

The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of August 18, 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.

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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