Markets & Finance

Equity Funds' Rosy First Quarter

The stock market began the year on an optimistic note, and domestic equity funds sang along in harmony. The average domestic stock fund rose 6.7% in the first quarter, with those in the small-cap sector outpacing mid- and large-cap funds. Small-cap growth portfolios gained 12.2% on average, making it the best-performing style category for the quarter. Small-cap value and blend styles climbed 11.0% and 11.3%, respectively.

The S&P 500 index gained 3.7% in the first quarter (excluding dividends), already outpacing the 3.0% gain the benchmark recorded for all of 2005. (Including reinvested dividends, the S&P 500 gained 4.2% for the first quarter of 2006, vs. a 4.9% showing for all of last year.)

All domestic equity style categories rose in the quarter, with the large-cap sector faring the worst and mid-caps falling in between. In terms of sectors, industrial stocks have done well in all categories. In addition, large-cap equities have benefitted from the telecom and energy sectors, while materials and consumer staples worked in small-caps' favor. (For complete results of more than 5,000 funds, see BW Online's Interactive Mutual Fund Scoreboard).

Equity Funds' First Quarter Romp

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