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Fund Spy

2012's Top Performers

Here's what has worked, and what hasn't, so far in the year to date.

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Amid persistent volatility, the path to relative success so far in 2012 has generally led through the market's more growth-oriented areas. Among Morningstar's diversified domestic-equity categories, large-growth funds have fared best as a group for the year to date though July 9. Further down the market-cap spectrum, mid-cap growth and small-growth funds have, on average, bested their blend and value-focused counterparts, too. 

The performance advantage that growth has enjoyed in the year's first half is apparent at the sector level as well. Two large-growth focused SPDRs,  Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and  Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), have led the way, with each exchange-traded fund enjoying double-digit gains on the year. At the other end of the performance spectrum are the market's more value-focused areas. While SPDRs tracking the utilities, industrials, and materials sectors are all in positive territory, none of those ETFs--each of which runs with a large-value portfolio--has cracked 5% for the year to date.

Shannon Zimmerman does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.