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Medalist Managers Buy SPACs, Airlines, and Oil in 2021's First Quarter

Top managers looked ahead to a post-pandemic economy.

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Top mutual fund managers positioned their portfolios for a post-pandemic economy in the United States in the first quarter. Reopening trades, including retail-focused REITs, airlines, breweries, luxury brands, hotels, and homebuilders were popular among U.S.-focused active equity funds with Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Top managers also showed an appetite for special-purpose acquisition companies--the "blank check" companies that have exploded in popularity since the beginning of 2020.

Here is a look at some of the medalists’ most popular stock purchases in the period, broken out by industry. The following data represents funds with at least one medalist-rated share class and a reported first-quarter portfolio as of May 11, 2021. It includes: 130 large-cap strategies, 51 mid-cap strategies, and 52 small-cap strategies covering more than $3 trillion in combined assets. The data is adjusted for fund-level cash inflows and outflows to distinguish changes managers’ chose to make from those they had to make to meet redemptions or put new money to work.

Jack Shannon does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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