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In December, Morningstar’s analysts assigned new ratings to 11 U.S. funds and four separately managed accounts.

Morningstar recently published its summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating activity for 158 U.S. open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and eight SMAs that occurred in December 2018.

Analysts also upgraded ratings for seven funds and one SMA, downgraded ratings for 10 funds and one SMA, affirmed ratings for 127 funds and two SMAs, and placed three funds under review.

“T. Rowe Price New Horizons was upgraded to Gold from Silver in December due to its ability to remain a superb long-term option despite a growing asset base,” Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar’s director of manager research for North America, said in a statement.

According to Lutton, Henry Ellenbogen began managing the fund in March 2010 and has outperformed 99% of peers by focusing on emerging growth companies with strong prospects.

“The fund is large but diversified, and reasonable fees further its appeal,” Lutton added.

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 — Gold, Silver, and Bronze — in addition to Neutral and Negative ratings.

Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 5% of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 61% of assets under management.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in December 2018:

Upgrades

  • AQR Risk Parity (Neutral to Bronze)
  • Invesco S&P 500 Quality ETF (Bronze to Silver)
  • JHancock Balanced (Neutral to Bronze)
  • PIMCO Dynamic Bond (Neutral to Bronze)
  • River Road Dividend All-Cap Value Composite (SMA) (Bronze to Silver)
  • T. Rowe Price Institutional Large Cap Growth (Bronze to Silver)
  • T. Rowe Price New Horizons (Silver to Gold)
  • Vanguard US Growth (Neutral to Bronze)

Downgrades

  • Aberdeen Emerging Markets (Silver to Bronze)
  • Columbia Income Builder (Bronze to Neutral)
  • Emerging Markets Equity (SMA) (Silver to Bronze)
  • Fidelity Advisor Industrials (Bronze to Neutral)
  • Fidelity Select Industrials (Bronze to Neutral)
  • Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Alternatives (Neutral to Negative)
  • JHancock Global Absolute Return Strategies (Bronze to Neutral)
  • LKCM Equity (Silver to Bronze)
  • MFS Utilities (Silver to Bronze)
  • TIAA-CREF Large-Cap Value Retire (Bronze to Neutral)
  • Voya Global Equity Dividend (Neutral to Negative)

New Ratings

  • American Century Inflation Adjusted Bond (Neutral)
  • AMG Managers Emerging Opportunities (Neutral)
  • Bernzott Capital US Small Cap Value (SMA) (Neutral)
  • Carillon Eagle Small Cap Growth (Neutral)
  • Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return (Bronze)
  • Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return Advantage (Neutral)
  • JPMorgan Small Cap Core (Bronze)
  • Nuveen Core Fixed Income (SMA) (Neutral)
  • T. Rowe Price Summit Municipal Income (Gold)
  • Voya Intermediate Fixed Income (SMA) (Neutral)
  • Voya International Index Portfolio (Neutral)
  • Voya MidCap Opportunities Portfolio (Neutral)
  • Voya Short Term Bond (Neutral)
  • Voya American Century Small-Mid Cap Value (Bronze)
  • WEDGE Core Aggregate Fixed Income (SMA) (Bronze)

Under Review

  • MainStay MacKay International Opportunities (from Neutral)
  • MainStay MacKay U.S. Equity Opportunities (from Neutral)
  • Vanguard Mid Cap Growth (from Bronze)

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