US domestic equity funds advanced 4.5% in May, versus a 3% gain for the S&P 500, an S&P news release said. On average, domestic equity funds fell 3.43% in April and 1.9% in March.
Meanwhile, small-cap growth funds were the strongest performers during the month, returning 6.5% on average, while large-cap value funds followed with a respectable 2.6% advance, according to S&P. Year-to-date, growth funds have started outpacing their value counterparts for the first time, gaining 5.6% on average as of May 31 versus the value fund group’s 3.9% average performance. Sector fund performance was propelled by technology and consumer discretionary, both of which posted strong advances in May, S&P said.
“May marked a sharp turnaround in almost all areas of the equity markets,” noted Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist at Standard & Poor’s, in the news release. “The defensive tone the market had been adopting since the beginning of the year was exchanged for a more optimistic one, as investors felt the Fed was close to ending the rate tightening policy.”