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U.S.-Stock Funds Ride the Earnings Wave

Monthly Monitor: As markets rallied, stock funds rose an average 4.7% in April, to push their year-to-date gain to 13.5%.

5/10/2021 9:30:00 AM

Analysis: The investing world, like the real world, might not be quite “normal” yet. But it is getting there, if the stock market’s performance is to be believed.

Monthly Monitor: As markets rallied, stock funds rose an average 4.7% in April, to push their year-to-date gain to 13.5%.

May 9, 2021 12:30 pm ETThe investing world, like the real world, might not be quite “normal” yet. But it is getting there, if the stock market’s performance is to be believed.As companies’ earnings reports continue to roll in with impressive gains, stocks have responded. And that has boosted stock funds. U.S.-stock funds tracked by Refinitiv Lipper (including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds) posted an average return of 4.7% in April, to push their year-to-date gain to 13.5%.

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That year-to-date gain is, coincidentally, nearly identical to the gain that U.S.-stock funds posted a year ago just for April—the month stocks recovered ground after plunging in the wake of the early Covid shutdowns in March. Stock funds went on to post a gain of 19.1% for all of 2020. This year’s market is on pace to better that performance, if conditions don’t deteriorate.

“The strength surprises us and it doesn’t surprise us at the same time,” says Ralph Bassett, Aberdeen Standard Investments’ head of U.S. equities, based in Philadelphia. “As we’re well aware, there are two things coinciding right now—monetary policy just looks extremely accommodative, and fiscal policy as well. So all this liquidity needs to find a home.” headtopics.com

And while wary investors have poured billions of dollars into bond funds, they are also sticking with stocks. In addition to the U.S. gains, international-stock funds rose 3.2% in April, to push their year-to-date advance to 6.7%. Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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