These Stock Funds Rose in the Worst of Times
In a month when stocks fell enough to qualify as a bad full year, a handful of equity mutual funds made headway against the torrent of selling, half of them foreign-focused.
Now, investors have to decide if the gains, during a month when the benchmark S&P 500 tumbled more than 10%, were harbingers of incipient reversals or dead-cat bounces after drops from lofty peaks.
The 10 stock funds populating the adjoining table represent February's best stock-fund performers, excluding the ubiquitous leveraged and "inverse" participants that routinely cluster at both extremities of the performance array.
The foreign-focused entries may have simply enjoyed rebounds after brutal falls. Even after their one-month gains, the three Russian funds, the China play and the international small-cap portfolio remain below water by as much as 81% for the most recent 12 months.The two Russian funds with sufficient histories for evaluation from TheStreet.com Ratings -- the ING Russia Fund (LETRX) and World Funds Third Millennium Russia Fund (TMRFX) -- receive the lowest possible grade of E-minus from TheStreet.com Ratings, classifying them as "sell" recommendations. The Oppenheimer International Small Company Fund (OSMAX) is also an E-minus, while the Oberweis China Opportunities Fund (OBCHX) rates a D-plus, also equivalent to a "sell" recommendation. The Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX) has international holdings in its precious metals portfolio. Along with the Fidelity Select Telecom Portfolio (FSTCX), the funds are graded by TheStreet.com Ratings in the "C" range, making them "hold" recommendations. The only member of the group with positive results for the latest 12 months is a hedge-fund lookalike, the Virtus Market Neutral Fund (EMNAX), which has eked by with a gain of 0.10% for the period. Its steady performance in the face of recent market turbulence earns it the highest possible grade of A-plus, equivalent to a "buy" recommendation, from TheStreet.com Ratings.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV