Weiss: Third Quarter Sees Positive Gains in Stock Mutual Funds

October 27, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com)—The third quarter saw average growth of 5.24% in 96.3% of stock mutual funds, down from an average 16.38% during the third quarter, according to Weiss Ratings.
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The sector with the largest return was precious metals, with an increase of 25.25% and the stock mutual fund, out of the 9,120 studied by Weiss, with the best performance was Scudder Gold & Precious Metals S (SCGDX), reporting a return of 44.33%.  Other sectors reporting large gains were emerging market (14.28%) and technology (9.66%), while utilities was the only sector to report a loss of 0.52%.  

Most stock funds finished with positive returns, and large gains were exhibited by the following stock mutual funds:

  • Matthews Japan Fund (MJFOX): 37.26%   
  • US Global Inv. World Precious Minerals (UNWPX): 34.46%   
  • Fidelity Japan Small Companies (FJSCX): 30.32%
  • The Japan Fund Inc. S (SJPNX): 30.23%    

However, some stock mutual funds did finish in the red:

  • Frontier Fund-Equity (FEFPX): -19.35
  • ProFunds-Ultra Short OTC Fund Svc (USPSX): -18.56
  • Rainbow Fund (RBOWX): -16.81
  • Potomac OTC Short Inv. (POTSX): -10.07
  • SmBarney Telecom-Income (ATINX): -9.21

Bond funds did not post comparable gains during the third quarter, earning an average quarterly return of 0.22%. During the second quarter 99.4% of bond funds analyzed by Weiss reported gains, which declined to 56.5% posting positive gains in the third quarter.

The bond funds posting the largest gains in the third quarter were:

  • J. Hancock High Yield Bond A (JHHBX): 5.45%
  • Oppenheimer Intl Bond A (OIBAX): 5.29%
  • Franklin AGE High Income B (FHIBX): 4.96%
  • MainStay High Yield Corp. Bond A (MHCAX): 4.88%
  • SunAmerica High Yield B (SHNBX): 4.36%

Closed-end mutual funds did not fare as well as stock mutual funds during the third quarter, with Weiss reporting an average return of 1.14%.   A positive return was reported by only 42.2% of all closed-end funds, which may be invested in stocks, bonds, or a combination of both.

Of the 694 closed-end mutual funds studied by Weiss, those registering the largest gains include:

  • Turkish Investment Fund (TKF): 49.36%
  • Greater China Fund (GCH): 36.82%
  • iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index (EWH): 33.07%
  • Morgan Stanley India Inv. Fund (IIF): 31.79%
  • Chile Fund (CH): 31.62%

Alison Cooke

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