NU Online News Service, Oct. 17, 2:30 p.m. – The 10 largest mutual funds are generally suffering less than the competition, Standard & Poor’s argues in a new report.

Although all reported losses in net asset value for the year to date, they generally lost less than their peers this year through Septembe, S&P says.

One exception: Janus Fund, which trails most large-cap growth funds.

The 10 largest funds rarely offer big returns, but their moderate risk postures have traditionally cushioned some of the market’s steeper blows, S&P says.

Year to date, the 10 largest all lost money through September, ranging from a 5% drop for Washington Mutual Investors Fund/A to a 34.9% plunge for Janus Fund. Janus Fund’s loss is only moderately lower than the 31.4% decline for the average large-cap growth fund this year.

Other large-cap growth funds among the top 10 finished ahead of their peers, as did the large-cap value and large-cap blend portfolios. The average large-cap value fund dropped 14.2% this year through September, while the average large-cap blend gave up 22.4%.

Value Funds have outperformed growth among the 10 largest so far this year. The 5% loss for Washington Mutual illustrates value funds’ better fortune during this year’s tough market, as seen in the S&P 500′s 20.4% decline. Washington Mutual benefited by focusing on defensive sectors such as banks and energy.

The complete list of the ten largest mutual funds are: Vanguard 500 Index (-20.5% for the year) Fidelity Magellan (-20.5%) Investment Company of America Fund/A (-11.5%) Washington Mutual Investors Fund/A (-5%) Growth Fund of America (-25.3%) Fidelity Growth & Income (-14.8%) Fidelity Contrafund (-18.1%) Putnam Fund for Growth and Income/A (-12.1%) Janus Fund (-34.9%) American Century: Ultra (-24.7%) S&P 500 (-20.4%)