- U.S. equities were all up again this week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite hitting all-time highs again.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 continues to be the Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl (NCEIX).
- U.S. small blend equities is the best-performing mutual funds 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.
The financial sector was this week’s top-performing sector, up 1.98%. The financial sector consists of big banks like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), which were up 6.60% and 4.6%, respectively, over the last week.
Explore our Mutual Funds Education section to learn more about important mutual funds concepts.
International Equities – International markets were down for the week, with the exception of the Nikkei. The MSCI Developed Index fell 0.31% to close at 1,998 and is up 21.98% on a year-to-date basis. The MSCI Emerging Index had a decrease of 0.54% for the week and remains the best-performing index on a year-to-date basis, up 32.69%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 had its sixth week of gains in a row, up 1.43%, to close at 21,458.
Commodities – The commodity sector was mostly up this week except for gold. Crude oil saw a slight gain $0.02 per barrel and closed at $51.47 per barrel. The price of gold decreased $24 per troy ounce, to close at $1,277. Copper also saw an increase of $0.03, to close at $3.17.
Be sure to read important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields all gained this week, with the 2-year Treasury increasing 7 bps to yield 1.58%. The 10-year Treasury yield saw this week’s largest gains and increased 10 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield increased 7 bps to 2.89%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields declined across all maturities this week with the exception of the 2-year AAA-rated bonds, which had an increase of 1 bps to yield 1.04%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 1 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds decreased 2 bps and now yield 2.81%. Municipal bond funds returned back to inflows this week, gaining $351 million in assets. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities increased by 9 bps to settle at 64 bps for the week.
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund Category
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%) *||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Small Blend||4.59%||Zacks Small-Cap Core Institutional||ZSCIX||8.40%||The largest holding is Taylor Morrison Home Corp. (NYSE:TMHC), which is up over 8% for the month.|
|International Equity||Japan Stock||3.29%||AIG Japan A||SAESX||4.35%||The largest holding is Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. (TYO:5105), which is up over 7.5% for the month.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||0.11%||DoubleLine Strategic Commodity I||DBCMX||3.22%||With oil up slightly this week, this fund was invested in 26% oil.|
|Taxable Bonds||Bank Loan||0.64%||Catalyst/Princeton Floating Rt Inc C||CFRCX||1.11%||With bond prices falling this week, floating rate funds were not affected.|
|Municipal Bonds||Muni National Long||0.23%||Columbia Strategic Municipal Income Y||CATYX||0.57%||Muni bond yields fell this week, causing longer-term bonds to gain the most.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700), which is up over 83% on a year-to-date basis.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of October 20, 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.
|Name||Ticker||Category||YTD %||Net Expense Ratio||% of Assets in Top 10 Holdings||Total Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|Neuberger Berman Greater China Eq Instl||NCEIX||China Equities||56.13%||1.76%||51.80%||$134||Financial Services|
|Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp IS||MNOPX||Foreign Large Cap Growth Equities||48.57%||5.64%||46.60%||$423||Consumer Defense|
|Matthews China Small Companies||MCSMX||China Equities||45.92%||2.24%||34.10%||$26||Technology|
|Matthews Asia Innovators Investor||MATFX||Technology Equities||45.25%||1.24%||34.80%||$165||Technology|
|Morgan Stanley Inst Global Opp IS||MGTSX||Global Equities||43.72%||3.82%||57.60%||$1,490||Technology|
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