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The Year in U.S. Equity Funds, 2019

A very good year for the market.

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The U.S. stock market finished 2019 with its best annual gain since 2013. Stocks bounced back from their late-2018 losses in the first quarter of 2019, posted cautious gains midyear, and finished the year with a rally as trade tensions tapered. The S&P 500 posted a 31.5% return for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 36.7% and the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks advanced 25.5%.

Growth stocks continued to beat value stocks in 2019. The Russell 3000 Growth Index’s 35.9% yearly gain beat the Russell 3000 Value Index’s 26.3%. The FAANG stocks--Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Alphabet (GOOG)--drove growth’s outperformance. Netflix’s more than respectable 20.8% gain made it the worst-performing FAANG, while Apple led the way with an 88.1% rise, its best year of the decade. The excellent returns of such widely held giants helped large-cap stocks outperform small caps. Large-growth and mid-growth funds topped the other seven Morningstar Style Box categories, while small-blend and small-value lagged.

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Nick Watson does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.