Today the Daily Screen zeroes in on funds that fish in the financial-stock pool.
Riding a boost from a string of mergers and stable interest rates, financial sector funds have come back to life after sagging returns in the past couple of years. As tech stocks have cooled, investors have feasted on the financial stocks, which typically are slower growers, but also sell at more modest prices. So far this year, the average financial sector fund is up 12.6%, some 18 percentage points ahead of the
index, according to
As usual, we've screened the category for funds that beat the category average over the last one- and three-year periods. The first chart lists the top-10 financial funds, ranked by one-year return.
Then we took our screen a step further, looking at the stocks that have propelled these leading funds. The second table lists the 10 most popular stocks held by the sector's best-performing funds. At the top of the list you'll find behemoths like
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
. You'll also find railroad concern
Kansas City Southern
, which many funds held as a bet on its former subsidiary, top-selling fund shop
No doubt some of these funds also own shares of
, the railroad company's recent spinoff, which bundled Janus,