Stock Funds Shine in April

May 12, 2003 ( - With active hostilities in Iraq at a conclusion, investors breathed some life back into equities in April with value funds outpacing growth, according to Standard & Poor's.

The April review from S&P’s FundAdvisor showed that the average domestic equity fund enjoyed a 7.79% gain versus an 8.11% advance for the S&P 500 Index. Even though growth funds have historically bested their value and blended fund counterparts after a bear market, S&P said the average value fund ended April with an 8.21% gain while growth style funds turned in a 7.45% gain for the month.

So far this year, the main domestic equity fund categories are sitting comfortably in solid territory, with April results coming in especially strong, according to S&P. Year-to-date through the end of April, all nine domestic equity fund style categories had positive performance returns – a feat not seen since the first four months of 2000.  Through the end of April, the average domestic equity fund managed a 4.21% advance versus a return of 4.70% for the S&P 500 Index. 

Growth funds (4.95%) outperformed blend (4.01%) and value (2.91%) so far this year through April, but larger caps (which rose 4.32%) have generally held up better than small caps (up 3.41% year-to-date).  “Larger-cap companies may be benefiting from a weaker dollar, since larger companies tend to be bigger exporters,” Standard & Poor’s Fund Analyst, Michael Wasserman, said in a statement. “Investors may also be favoring large-cap companies with a bit more stability as they remain concerned about volatility in the equity markets.”