US Equities Falter in March

April 4, 2005 ( - US equity funds faltered in March, reversing the trends of an upbeat February.

According to Standard & Poor’s, the average US stock mutual fund fell 1.9%in March after gaining 2% in the previous month. For the first quarter of the year, the average domestic stock fund lost 2.6%, which was worse than the 2.3% loss of the S&P 500.

All investment styles of S&P lost ground in the first quarter, according to a news release. Small-cap growth funds were hit the hardest of all styles, with a 4.9% loss in the first three months of the year. Mid-cap value performed the best, losing only 0.67%.

On the month, small-cap growth was the worst performer once again, losing over 3% in March. The month’s best performer: Mid-cap blend, which only lost 1.14%.

S&P attributes the poor monthly performance to worries over inflation, oil prices, and slow earnings reports.

By sector, energy was the best performing group, gaining 17.1% on the quarter. Telecom had the worst three months by sector, losing 8.6%.