Mutual Funds Scorecard: April 29 Edition

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Mutual Funds Scorecard: April 29 Edition

Stock chart
Every fortnight, MutualFunds.com provides a snapshot of the performance of some key mutual funds which tries to accurately capture the investor interest in specific areas of the financial markets. The report is aimed at providing a quick overview of the sectors, regions and asset classes that moved in a meaningful manner during the last two weeks.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have delivered the first notable and unexpected second-order effect. U.S. oil futures for May have dropped below zero for the first time in history, meaning investors had to pay to have their oil taken from them. This is despite a deal to cut oil supplies by 10 million barrels agreed upon by OPEC and Russia.
  • The dramatic collapse means that the storage capacity in the U.S. is diminishing quickly, as the June contract was well in positive territory when the fall below zero occurred. However, pressure on the June contract is increasing as traders have to roll their contracts into the next month. WTI for June settled 25% lower on Monday at $12.78.
  • Crude oil inventories were up 15 million barrels for the week ended April 22, the thirteenth consecutive week of increases and the fourth week in a row of advances of more than 10 million barrels.
  • Partly due to lower energy prices, inflation in the U.S. is falling. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped 0.4% in March month-over-month and is now up 1.5% year-over-year. Gasoline prices declined 5.8% for the month, followed by transportation with declines of 2.8% and apparel with falls of 2%.
  • U.S. retail sales plunged 8.7% in March, slightly more than analysts had expected, as the country-wide lockdown soured consumer sentiment.
  • Chinese GDP has declined by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020. The contraction was expected by analysts because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, but this is the first quarterly decline in output since 1992.
  • Europe-wide economic sentiment edged into positive territory to 25.2, following last week’s posted reading of negative 49.5%. In part, the rise in sentiment could be attributed to encouraging numbers of reduced COVID-19 infections across Western Europe.
  • U.S. unemployment claims rose 4.4 million in the week ended April 23, higher than analysts’ expectations. However, this was much lower than the peak of 6.9 million reached in the April 9 week.

We provide this report on a fortnightly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, come back to our news page here.

U.S. Broad Indices

  • U.S. equities have continued their recovery, but it is still unclear if markets are out of the woods just yet.
  • Vanguard’s Russell 3000 index tracker (VRTTX) has advanced 2.79% over the past two weeks, slightly beating all the other funds from the list.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s small-cap index fund (VSCIX) was the worst performer from the pack with a gain of just 1.84%.
broad indices

Fixed Income

  • Fixed income assets delivered a mixed performance with three asset subclasses posting gains and the rest losses.
  • Vanguard’s long-term investment-grade bonds fund (VWESX) gained more than 2% for the past two weeks, by far the best performance from the bunch.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s municipal bonds fund (VWITX) continued to be the worst performer, this time with a drop of 1.11%.
fixed income

Major Sectors

  • After posting gains across the board, now sectors are mixed. Healthcare and consumer discretionary are the best performers and financials are the worst.
  • Vanguard’s healthcare sector proxy (VGHCX) surged 6.38% as it is one of the industries that is expected to benefit the most from rising demand for drugs to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s financials sector fund (VFAIX) declined 3.86%, representing the worst performance from the pack.
sectors

Foreign Equities

  • Foreign equities were all up with two exceptions.
  • Fidelity’s latin American equities fund (FLATX) was down 6.19% these past two weeks, representing by far the worst performance from the pack.
  • T. Rowe Price’s Japanese equities fund (PRJPX) again benefitted from their safe-haven status and posted the best performance from the pack, up 4.78%.
foreign equities

Alternatives

  • Alternative assets were all in the red with one exception.
  • Cohen & Steers’ preferred stocks fund (CPXIX) gained 1.09% over the past two weeks, the only riser.
  • Meanwhile, PIMCO’s broad commodities fund (PCRIX) lost 5.33%, in part because of very weak oil prices.
alternatives

The Bottom Line

Investment-grade bonds and the healthcare sector were among the top performers these past two weeks, while Japanese shares continued to rise strongly thanks to their safe-haven appeal. At the same time, Latin American equities and commodities were hammered due to collapsing oil prices.

Be sure to signup for your free newsletter here to receive the most relevant updates.

Fund returns data is reported for the period between April 10 and April 24.


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Stock chart

Mutual Funds Scorecard: April 29 Edition

Every fortnight, MutualFunds.com provides a snapshot of the performance of some key mutual funds which tries to accurately capture the investor interest in specific areas of the financial markets. The report is aimed at providing a quick overview of the sectors, regions and asset classes that moved in a meaningful manner during the last two weeks.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have delivered the first notable and unexpected second-order effect. U.S. oil futures for May have dropped below zero for the first time in history, meaning investors had to pay to have their oil taken from them. This is despite a deal to cut oil supplies by 10 million barrels agreed upon by OPEC and Russia.
  • The dramatic collapse means that the storage capacity in the U.S. is diminishing quickly, as the June contract was well in positive territory when the fall below zero occurred. However, pressure on the June contract is increasing as traders have to roll their contracts into the next month. WTI for June settled 25% lower on Monday at $12.78.
  • Crude oil inventories were up 15 million barrels for the week ended April 22, the thirteenth consecutive week of increases and the fourth week in a row of advances of more than 10 million barrels.
  • Partly due to lower energy prices, inflation in the U.S. is falling. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped 0.4% in March month-over-month and is now up 1.5% year-over-year. Gasoline prices declined 5.8% for the month, followed by transportation with declines of 2.8% and apparel with falls of 2%.
  • U.S. retail sales plunged 8.7% in March, slightly more than analysts had expected, as the country-wide lockdown soured consumer sentiment.
  • Chinese GDP has declined by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020. The contraction was expected by analysts because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, but this is the first quarterly decline in output since 1992.
  • Europe-wide economic sentiment edged into positive territory to 25.2, following last week’s posted reading of negative 49.5%. In part, the rise in sentiment could be attributed to encouraging numbers of reduced COVID-19 infections across Western Europe.
  • U.S. unemployment claims rose 4.4 million in the week ended April 23, higher than analysts’ expectations. However, this was much lower than the peak of 6.9 million reached in the April 9 week.

We provide this report on a fortnightly basis. To stay up to date with mutual fund market events, come back to our news page here.

U.S. Broad Indices

  • U.S. equities have continued their recovery, but it is still unclear if markets are out of the woods just yet.
  • Vanguard’s Russell 3000 index tracker (VRTTX) has advanced 2.79% over the past two weeks, slightly beating all the other funds from the list.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s small-cap index fund (VSCIX) was the worst performer from the pack with a gain of just 1.84%.
broad indices

Fixed Income

  • Fixed income assets delivered a mixed performance with three asset subclasses posting gains and the rest losses.
  • Vanguard’s long-term investment-grade bonds fund (VWESX) gained more than 2% for the past two weeks, by far the best performance from the bunch.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s municipal bonds fund (VWITX) continued to be the worst performer, this time with a drop of 1.11%.
fixed income

Major Sectors

  • After posting gains across the board, now sectors are mixed. Healthcare and consumer discretionary are the best performers and financials are the worst.
  • Vanguard’s healthcare sector proxy (VGHCX) surged 6.38% as it is one of the industries that is expected to benefit the most from rising demand for drugs to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Meanwhile, Vanguard’s financials sector fund (VFAIX) declined 3.86%, representing the worst performance from the pack.
sectors

Foreign Equities

  • Foreign equities were all up with two exceptions.
  • Fidelity’s latin American equities fund (FLATX) was down 6.19% these past two weeks, representing by far the worst performance from the pack.
  • T. Rowe Price’s Japanese equities fund (PRJPX) again benefitted from their safe-haven status and posted the best performance from the pack, up 4.78%.
foreign equities

Alternatives

  • Alternative assets were all in the red with one exception.
  • Cohen & Steers’ preferred stocks fund (CPXIX) gained 1.09% over the past two weeks, the only riser.
  • Meanwhile, PIMCO’s broad commodities fund (PCRIX) lost 5.33%, in part because of very weak oil prices.
alternatives

The Bottom Line

Investment-grade bonds and the healthcare sector were among the top performers these past two weeks, while Japanese shares continued to rise strongly thanks to their safe-haven appeal. At the same time, Latin American equities and commodities were hammered due to collapsing oil prices.

Be sure to signup for your free newsletter here to receive the most relevant updates.

Fund returns data is reported for the period between April 10 and April 24.


Sign up for Advisor Access

Receive email updates about best performers, news, CE accredited webcasts and more.

Popular Articles

Download our free report

Find out why $30 trillon is invested in mutual funds.

Why 30 trillion is invested in mutual funds book

Why 30 trillion is invested in mutual funds book

Download our free report

Find out why $30 trillon is invested in mutual funds.

Why 30 trillion is invested in mutual funds book

Download our free report

Find out why $30 trillon is invested in mutual funds.


Read Next