Week In Funds: U.S. Stock Funds Gained

U.S. diversified stock funds returned to the winner’s circle, halting their one-week skid. They accomplished that feat by eking out a 0.19% advance on average in the week ended May 7.¬†about rising crude oil prices and Greece’s ongoing standoff with its creditors. Greece is due to make a payment next week.

Stocks sank on Wednesday amid comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen suggesting that stocks are generally overpriced.

Yellen, talking with International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde, said that risks to financial stability are moderate, not elevated, at this point. She added that stock-market valuations appear “quite high.”

U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday as investors began to anticipate the April jobs report. (When the report came out on Friday, it showed a rebound in jobs growth.)

The advance by U.S. diversified stock funds in the latest week pushed their year-to-date gain for investors to 2.41%.

Health/biotechnology stocks led sectors in the latest week, jumping 1.84%. The jump put them up 10% for the year, best among sectors.

Natural resources funds fell 3.11% in the latest week, making them the worst laggards among sectors. The fall cut their year-to-date return to 4.74%.

Utility funds’ 3.31% loss for the year was the worst setback so far in 2015.

World equity funds lagged U.S. stock funds in the latest week. World equity funds lost 0.94% during the week.

Latin American funds notched the best gain among world equity fund groups in the latest week. Their 0.64% advance cut their year-to-date loss to 0.99%.

China region funds had the best year-to-date return, a gain of 17.51%.

India region funds were the biggest laggards year-to-date among world equity funds, with a 3.11% decline.

Taxable bond funds fell 0.40% in the week, with almost all categories losing ground.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose on Wednesday, reflecting the bond’s sell-off. Yellen’s remarks that even long-term governments were overpriced spooked many investors.

Taxable bonds’ loss in the latest week cut their year-to-date gain to 1.15%.

Loan participation funds gained 0.04% in the latest week. They were one of only two taxable groups to advance. Their gain boosted their year-to-date return to 2.85%.

Tax-exempt bond funds lost 0.33% in the latest week. The loss trimmed their year-to-date gain to 0.05%.

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