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Mutual Fund Ratings: 10 Biggest Upgrades, Downgrades

These open-end stock funds recently experienced the biggest upgrades and the largest downgrades in our ratings system.
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One month does not make a trend, but in this time of excessive stock market volatility, some

mutual funds ratings

jumped or dove in the most recent period of measurement.

With each additional month of data, Ratings updates its ranking scorecard, assigning new ratings to each fund. Below is the list of the five most-improved and five most-deteriorated

open-end stock mutual funds

. The table below shows how each improved or declined based on our most recent Aug. 31 ratings data vs. our July 31 data.

The most-improved stock mutual fund based on risk-adjusted performance ending Aug. 31 is the

Parnassus Mid-Cap Fund


, which was upgraded seven notches to A from C-. This fund's top holdings include

Linear Technology



Pulte Homes



Barr Pharmaceuticals






Waste Management



Ascending nearly as much, the

Dividend Growth Trust - Rising Dividend Growth Fund


is the second most-improved open-end stock fund with a new rating of A+ from C+ in the prior month. The fund's notable holdings include




Automatic Data Processing






All five of the largest upgrades were from a hold rating to a buy rating. On the other hand, the most-deteriorated list includes funds downgraded to hold from buy as well as funds sliding to sell from hold and to sell from buy.

The largest fall -- nine notches to a rating of E from a rating of B -- was experienced by the Oppenheimer 529 TEP Conservative Portfolio. Also sliding eight notches, the Oppenheimer 529 OR 4-6 Years to College Portfolio now hold the lowest possible rating of E-. Both of these are set up as funds holding other Oppenheimer funds.

For more information, check out an explanation of our



Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.