This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Best, Worst Funds During October's Big Rally

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- For investors, it was the worst of times followed by the best of times. September's slide set the groundwork for October's stock-market rally, the biggest in almost four decades.

October is bestowing a blessing on mutual fund managers, as battered and beleaguered a group as you will find in the investment industry. A sustainable rally could lure individual investors back to equity funds after they stampeded out of them, frustrated by outsized volatility and gloomy forecasts for global economies.

The S&P 500 Index, the benchmark for U.S. stocks, is up 13.5% for the month through Thursday, its best performance since a 16.3% gain in October 1974.

The rally has helped the benchmark index move into positive territory -- it was up 3.8% through Oct. 27 -- for the first time since Aug. 3. And that bellwether event may be the catalyst that will get investors back into the market and mutual funds.

Much of the recent gains came last week after euro-zone leaders hammered out an agreement to avoid sovereign debt defaults, and that helped allay recession fears at home, this while U.S. companies continue to report solid third-quarter results.

The 15,561 mutual funds tracked by Morningstar, including international and domestic stock, bond, balanced and alternative funds, returned an average of 6% in the 30 days through Oct. 27. Domestic equity funds rose an average of 10%.

The big winners among domestic stock funds, with total returns in the teens to low 20s, in terms of percentage, were oil- and gas-sector funds and small-cap stock funds. The $14 million ProFunds Oil Equipment Services and Distribution Ultrasector Fund (OEPIX) led the way with a 28.7% return, followed by a half-dozen highly leveraged funds, which similarly focus on daily returns and therefore are highly volatile.

Actively managed buy-and-hold funds were further behind, but still recorded gains as high as 20%. One of the top performers is the Integrity Williston Basin/Mid-America Fund (ICPAX). The $322 million mutual fund has a 30-day return of 20%, including a 10% gain in the past week, but it is up only 8% this year.

The fund is a sniper shot on the booming oil-shale industry. It's benefitting from a rise in crude oil prices on prospects of an economic recovery. The top-performing holdings are all oil-field exploration and oil-field services companies, including: Brigham Exploration (BEXP), up 35% this month; National Oil Well Varco (NOV), up 31.6%; and Carbo Ceramics (CRR), up 10.3%.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.03 -2.90%
FB $117.48 7.90%
GOOG $691.20 -2.10%
TSLA $247.54 -1.60%
YHOO $36.58 -1.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,830.76 -210.79 -1.17%
S&P 500 2,075.81 -19.34 -0.92%
NASDAQ 4,805.2910 -57.85 -1.19%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs