Week In Funds: Large Cap Growth Leads Charge

U.S. stock funds extended their winning streak to four straight weeks. They outperformed world equity funds for the first time in six weeks. U.S. stock funds rose 0.23% on average in the week ended April 23. That pushed their gain for the year to 4.42%.

World equity funds rose 0.17% in the latest week. That boosted their year-to-date gain to 8.43%.

On Thursday the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at its highest level in a little more than 15 years, returning to a height it had not achieved since the dot-com bubble. It added to that record on Friday.

The S&P 500 closed Thursday within five points of the record that it had set on March 2, and got a bit closer on Friday.

The benchmarks reached new heights despite stock market news that showed mixed earnings reports and disappointing manufacturing data from around the globe.

During the latest week, quarterly earnings showed that the strengthening U.S. dollar has hurt U.S. companies with big overseas sales.

General Motors (NYSE:GM), 3M (NYSE:MMM), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) all reported Thursday that the dollar had hurt them.

But share-price gains by companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) helped large-cap growth funds outperform other market capitalization and style categories in the latest week. They produced a 0.70% gain for investors in the latest week. That put them up 6.02% for the year.

Telecommunications funds led sectors, rising 1.48% in the latest week. That put them up 6.77% for the year.

Natural resources funds were the biggest laggards among the main sectors for the latest week. They lost 0.53%. That cut their year-to-date gain to 7.06%.

Health-biotechnology funds remained the year-to-date sector leaders, up 16.40%, after gaining 0.98% in the latest week.

China led world equity stock mutual funds with a 1.31% gain in the latest week. That boosted China region funds’ year-to-date gain to an eye-popping 21.90%, tops among world equity groups.

India funds were the biggest laggards in the latest week, down 5.18%. That cut their year-to-date gain to 3.18%.

Taxable bond funds generally gave up ground as investors shifted into equities. Treasury funds lost 0.66% in the latest week. That cut their year-to-date gain to 1.82%.

Tax-exempt bond funds also slid in the latest week, giving back 0.20% on average. That left them up 0.79% for the year.

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