- U.S. equities were up for the fourth week of 2018, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching new all-time highs.
- The best-performing fund for 2018 on a year-to-date basis is the Leland Thomson Reuters Venture Capital Index Fund (LDVAX).
- Latin American equities is the best-performing mutual funds subcategory based on the rolling-month returns.
- Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to keep track of changing trends in the mutual funds space.
The healthcare sector was this week’s top-performing sector for the second week in a row, up 3.54%. This sector consists of companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), which was up 1.58% for the week and up 12.71% year-to-date.
International Equities – International markets were also up this week, with the exception of the Nikkei 225. The MSCI Developed Market Index gained 1.50%, to close at 2,184. The MSCI Emerging Index had an increase of 3.29%, to close at 1,273. Japan’s Nikkei 225 retreated this week by 0.74% and closed at 23,632.
Commodities –The commodity sector was up this week, with crude oil increasing by $2.77 per barrel to close at $66.14. The price of gold increased $20 per troy ounce, to close at $1,352. Copper increased by $0.01, to close at $3.20.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields were mixed this week, with the 2-year Treasury gaining 6 bps to yield 2.12%. The 10-year Treasury yield remained unchanged, while the 30-year Treasury yield fell 2 bps and now yields 2.91%.
Municipal Bonds – Municipal yields all saw increases with the exception of the 2-year AAA-rated bonds, which fell 4 bps to now yield 1.54%. The 10-year AAA-rated bonds saw an increase of 8 bps, while the 30-year AAA-rated bonds grew 6 bps to yield 2.86%. Municipal bond funds saw another inflow for the third week in a row and grew by $799 million in assets under management. The largest credit spread for the five-year securities remained unchanged at 72 bps for the week.
Explore our Mutual Funds Education section to learn more about important mutual funds concepts.
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||Large Cap Growth Equities||8.74%||Quantified STF Investor||QSTFX||18.02%||The fund invests in 2x the NASDAQ 100, which was up 2.76% for the week.|
|International Equity||Latin America Equities||15.22%||BlackRock Latin America Instl||MALTX||16.08%||The fund's second-largest holding isItau Unibanco Holding SA(NYSE:ITUB), which is up over 30% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||4.45%||Credit Suisse Commodity Acss Strat I||CRCIX||7.43%||With commodities mostly up, this fund gained by investing in oil.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging-Markets Taxable||5.13%||Barings Emerging Markets Local Ccy Dbt I||BXLIX||7.71%||With global interest rates falling, emerging markets debt saw the biggest gains.|
|Municipal Bonds||National Munis||0.14%||JPMorgan Tax Aware Real Return R6||TXRRX||0.80%||WIth long-term yields increasing this week, the fund saw gains with its shorter-term maturity bonds.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
The fund’s largest holding is in MasterCard (NYSE:MA), which is up over 12% for 2018.
Top Five Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of January 26, 2018. 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|
|Leland Thomson Reuters Vntr Cptl Idx A||LDVAX||Large Blend||17.72%||1.99%||26.50%||$21||Technology|
|Equinox Chesapeake Strategy I||EQCHX||Managed Futures||13.29%||1.87%||46.90%||$106||Cash|
|Prudential Jennison Global Opps Q||PRJQX||World Large Stock||12.55%||0.92%||42.20%||$625||Consumer Cyclical|
|Fidelity® Select Retailing||FSRPX||Consumer Discretionary Equities||11.80%||0.78%||76.50%||$2,020||Consumer Cyclical|
|T. Rowe Price Health Sciences||PRHSX||Health & Biotech Equities||11.67%||0.77%||33.20%||$11,700||Healthcare|
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