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Fund Spy

The First Quarter in U.S. Equity Funds

Aggressive strategies strike back.

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The U.S. stock market snapped back from 2018's loss to post a strong gain in the first quarter of 2019. After falling more than 14% in the fourth quarter of last year and more than 5% for all of 2018, the Morningstar U.S. Market Index climbed 12.5% for the year to date through March 27, 2019. All areas of the Morningstar Style Box rose, but, in general, growth beat value, smaller-cap stocks led larger equities, and the technology, energy, and communication-services sectors made the largest advances.

Morningstar Category returns reflected the trends. The small- and mid-cap growth categories led all diversified stock categories and were among the best-performing peer groups overall with gains of 15% and 16%, respectively. So were the technology, energy, and real estate categories, with returns ranging from 15% to 18%. Even lagging U.S. equity peer groups put up decent numbers. The typical financials fund gained about 9%, while the average large- and small-cap value funds rose around 10% and 11% each, respectively.

Dan Culloton has a position in the following securities mentioned above: RYSEX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.