Small Caps Crowed the Loudest in Active Fund Barnyard in Q3

October 10, 2003 ( - Active managers made their mark in a big way in the small-cap area during the third quarter of 2003, according to data from 2003 Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard (SPIVA).

SPIVA numbers showed 65.1% of actively managed funds bested the S&P SmallCap 600 Index while just over a quarter (26.4%) of active mid-cap funds came out ahead of the S&P MidCap 400 during the quarter. Large-cap managers were in between with just over half (50.8%) beating the S&P 500.

But things looked different peering out onto the long-term horizon, S&P reported, with the indices being the kings of their respective hills over the last five years. During that time period:

  • the S&P 500 outperformed 53.4% of large-cap funds
  • the S&P MidCap 400 led 91.4% of mid-cap funds
  • the S&P SmallCap 600 edged out 69.4% of small-cap funds.

Likewise, during the last 36 months, indices have led 57.8% of large-cap funds, 70.2% of mid-cap offerings, and 70% of small-cap options.

Examining individual sector performance, S&P found that active managers were the winners in six out of eight sectors in the third quarter.   The S&P sector indices outperformed 56.8% of Information Technology funds and 61.5% of Utility funds.   For the past five years, as well, active sector fund managers have made their mark in six sectors with a dead heat in Financials (50%). However, in the real estate sector the S&P (Real Estate Investment Trust) REIT Composite Index outperformed 53.7% of real estate funds over the past five years.

The complete third quarter SPIVA Scorecard is available at .