Week In Funds: Stock Funds Resume Rally

U.S. stock funds returned to the plus column, gaining 3.16% in the week ended Jan. 22.

That cut their year-to-date loss to 0.35%.

U.S. stock funds were driven by stock market news about the European Central Bank’s stimulus efforts, seeking to boost the eurozone economy.

European region funds rose 2.55% in the week.

Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (ARCA:VGK) gained ground five straight days.

S&P 500 funds gained 3.54% in the week, reflecting gains by successful investors in the last four days by the broad stock market.

It was the best weekly advance by U.S. diversified stock mutual funds since their 4.06% gain in the week ended Oct. 23.

Large-cap growth funds led all market capitalization and style categories by climbing 3.81%.

Small-cap value funds lagged, gaining only 2.80%.

Overall, the charge uphill was led by some of the year’s weakest sectors.

Natural resources funds topped all sectors by gaining 5.81% in the week. That still left them down 3.31% for the year and down 16.02% for the trailing 52 weeks.

Financial services funds were also strong, gaining 3.17% in the week. That left them down 3.29% for the year to date.

Even precious metals funds notched a gain for the week, tacking on 3.35%. That expanded their year-to-date gain to 16.71%, leading all sectors.

World equity funds on average rose 2.39%.

That raised their year-to-date return into positive territory, up 1.32%.

Latin American funds outperformed among world equity categories. They gained 4.50%.

That still left them slightly in the red for the year, down 0.17%.

India region funds gained 3.53% for the week.

China region funds were the biggest laggards for the week, gaining 1.18%.

With their gain in the week, European region funds were up 0.85% year-to-date.

As investors flocked into stock funds, bond funds were generally down.

Treasury funds lost 0.91%, leaving them up 2.76% for the year.

Taxable bond funds lost 0.05% on average for the week.

More risk-oriented categories notched gains. Emerging markets local currency debt funds climbed 1.24%. Multisector funds advanced 0.23%. High-yield funds rose 0.21%.

Tax-exempt bond funds lost 0.14% on average. That trimmed their year-to-date gain to 1.09%.

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