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Morningstar, Inc. published its summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating activity for 151 U.S. open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that occurred in July.

Morningstar’s research analysts assigned new ratings to six funds, including an inaugural rating of Gold to PGIM High Yield.

Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar’s director of manager research for North America, said that PGIM High Yield earned an inaugural rating of Gold due to its “expansive and experienced team, robust process, and modest price tag.”

“Backed by a deep bench of 42 credit analysts and two dedicated traders, the portfolio team [of PGIM High Yield] has a history of managing insurance assets, helping to focus the group on a long-term outlook, which is reflected in the fund’s investment process,” Lutton said in a statement.

Analysts also upgraded ratings for five funds, downgraded ratings for eight funds, affirmed ratings for 129 funds, and placed three funds under review in July.

The Morningstar Analyst Rating for funds represents Morningstar’s conviction in the fund’s ability to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. The five-tiered, qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists — Gold, Silver, and Bronze — in addition to Neutral and Negative ratings.

As of July 31, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 160 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 337 funds, a Bronze rating to 588 funds, a Neutral rating to 674 funds, and a Negative rating to 19 funds.

Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 6% of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 62% of assets under management.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in July 2018:

Upgrades

  1. Federated Total Return Bond (Silver from Bronze)
  2. Eaton Vance Emerging Markets Local (Bronze from Neutral)
  3. American Century Large Company Value (Bronze from Neutral)
  4. BlackRock Mid-Cap Growth Equity (Silver from Bronze)
  5. iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF (Bronze from Neutral)

Downgrades

  1. Fidelity Advisor Small Cap (Neutral from Bronze)
  2. Rowe Price International Value (Neutral from Bronze)
  3. Fidelity Select Technology (Neutral from Bronze)
  4. Westwood Income Opportunity (Neutral from Bronze)
  5. Fidelity Advisor Technology (Neutral from Bronze)
  6. Fidelity Puritan (Neutral from Silver)
  7. USAA Tax Exempt Intermediate-Term (Neutral from Bronze)
  8. iShares 0-5 Year High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (Neutral from Bronze)

New Ratings

  1. PGIM High Yield (Gold)
  2. Fidelity Diversified International K6 (Bronze)
  3. LSV Small Cap Value (Silver)
  4. Fidelity Small Cap Stock K6 (Neutral)
  5. PGIM QMA Mid-Cap Value (Neutral)
  6. VY Invesco Comstock (Bronze)

Under Review

  1. Ivy Large Cap Growth (Neutral)
  2. Ivy Small Cap Growth (Neutral)
  3. Ivy Small Cap Core (Neutral)

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