S&P: Domestic Equity Funds Up 4.52% in Q3

October 3, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - With a 4.52% return in the third quarter, Standard & Poor's domestic equity funds index is now up 18.39% year to date.

As they have all year, once again it was the little guys – small cap mutual funds – leading the way in the third quarter.    The July through August period saw this group return an average of 8.29%, now up 25.73% for 2003, according to a news release.

Leading the way for this group this quarter was the Small Cap Blend investment style, returning 8.94% (26.92% YTD), followed by Small Cap Growth’s 8.60% gain (27.38% YTD) and Small Cap Value’s 7.35% (22.90% YTD).   Also showing promising returns were mid-cap funds, led by the Mid Cap Blend gaining 5.81% (21.14% YTD), with Mid Cap Growth and Mid Cap Value up 5.39% and 5.13%, respectively, for the quarter (21.99% and 18.93%, respectively, YTD).

By comparison, the S&P 500 had a 2.65%-gain for the third quarter and year to date is up 14.87%.  

Among mutual fund investment styles, other gains notched for the quarter include:

  • 3.34% – Large Cap Growth (16.33% YTD)
  • 2.76% – Large Cap Blend (26.92% YTD)
  • 2.40% – Large Cap Value (13.72% YTD).

The average growth fund has returned 21.90% through September 30, 2003, while its fund style counterparts – blend and value – turned in performances of 20.81% and 18.51%, respectively.  The exact opposite was true this time last year when value funds were the better performing of the three.  Through the end of the third quarter in 2002, value funds lost 19.63% while blend and growth fund offerings were off 22.97% and 30.98%, respectively.

Even with positive returns across the board in equity funds for the third-quarter, the month of September came in particularly weak.  The average equity fund lost 1.70% in September, its lowest monthly output since January when the group fell 2.01%.