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The real estate sector was this week’s top-performing sector, up 2.01%. This sector consists of companies like Simon Property Group Inc (NYSE:SPG), which was up 1.59% for the week.
International Equities – International markets were all up this week except the Nikkei 225. The MSCI Developed Market Index saw a gain of 0.95%, to close at 2,051, and is up 25.62% on a year-to-date basis. The MSCI Emerging Index had an increase of 1.71% for the week and was the best-performing major index for 2017, up 38.37%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell this week by 0.44%, to close at 22,765.
Commodities – The commodity sector was all up with crude oil gaining $2.06 per barrel to close at $60.42 per barrel. The price of gold increased $39 per troy ounce to close at $1,306. Copper also saw a gain this week and was up $0.09 to close at $3.31.
Be sure to read important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
– Treasury yields all gained this week, with the 2-year Treasury, gaining 8 bps to yield 1.92%. The 10-year Treasury yield increased 11 bps, while the 30-year Treasury yield increased 12 bps to 2.81%.
– Municipal yields all saw decreases with the exception of the 2-year AAA-rated bonds, which had gained 9 bps and yields 1.56%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds saw a decline of 1 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds fell 4 bps to yield 2.62%. Municipal bond funds saw a decline of $165 million in assets under management. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities increased to 55 bps for the week.
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|Category||Top Subcategory||MTD Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Top Subcategory Performer||MTD Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Value Equities||2.15%||Fairholme||FAIRX||6.45%||The fund had 29% invested in stocks, as the rest was invested in cash, bonds and preferred stocks, which stayed level while the market was down this week.|
|International Equity||India Equity||4.30%||Wasatch Emerging India Investor||WAINX||5.31%||The fund's largest holding is Bajaj Finance Ltd., which is up over 106% over the past 1 year.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||2.33%||DoubleLine Strategic Commodity N||DLCMX||4.24%||With oil gaining this week, this fund benefited by being invested in it.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging-Markets Taxable||1.63%||T. Rowe Price Emerg Mkts Lcl Ccy Bd I||TEIMX||2.46%||With longer-term bond yields falling this week, this fund had a big gain with 100% invested in long-term bonds.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Municipal Bonds||1.36%||Nuveen CA High Yield Municipal Bond C||NAWSX||2.36%||With muni yields mostly falling, high-yield bond prices saw the biggest gains.|
The fund’s largest holding is in Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0700), which is up over 123% for 2017.
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of December 29, 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||66.00%||1.69%||52.5%||$ 140||Financial Services|
|Wasatch Emerging India Institutional||WIINX||India Equity||53.55%||1.67%||39.5%||$ 247||Financial Services|
|Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp IS||MNOPX||Foreign Large Growth||53.41%||5.64%||55.6%||$ 529||Consumer Defense|
|Oppenheimer Global Opportunities I||OGIIX||Global Equities||53.18%||0.73%||30.3%||$ 6,910||Technology|
|Matthews Asia Innovators Investor||MATFX||Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stock||52.88%||1.24%||40.3%||$ 201||Technology|
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Money Market Funds