The Dow and S&P 500 indices reached all-time highs this quarter, which boosted investor inflows and the performance of many equity fund categories, according to several reports released this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had returns of 11.25% for the quarter, while the S&P 500 returned 10.03%.
For the quarter, Lipper says that 80 of its 90 equity and mixed-equity fund classifications posted positive returns. The U.S. diversified-equity fund category was up 10.16%, however the overall equity fund group tracked by the research firm averaged returns of 7.68%, underperforming the S&P 500 for the period.
“At the top of the equity fund leaderboard were health/biotechnology funds (15.53%), equity-leverage funds (+15.36%), global health/biotechnology funds (14.57%) and mid-cap value funds (13.74%) … as investors began focusing on out-of-favor issues,” said Tom Roseen (left), head of research services for Denver-based Lipper, in a report published on Wednesday.
“Given the new concerns over the Cyprus bank bailout and Italy’s inability to form a coalition government, it wasn’t surprising to see world equity funds (3.81% for the quarter) underperform the other three macro-classifications for the first quarter in three and U.S. diversified-equity funds (10.16%) jump to the top of the podium as investors eyed attractive domestic issues,” Roseen said.
According to BlackRock, exchange-traded products had inflows of more than $70 billion during the first quarter of 2013, up from $65.5 billion in the year-ago period. Equity-focused ETPs accounted for $65 billion, or 93%, of the first quarter’s inflows.