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Equity Funds' Rosy First Quarter

The stock market began the year on an optimistic note, and domestic equity funds sang along in harmony. The average domestic stock fund rose 6.7% in the first quarter, with those in the small-cap sector outpacing mid- and large-cap funds. Small-cap growth portfolios gained 12.2% on average, making it the best-performing style category for the quarter. Small-cap value and blend styles climbed 11.0% and 11.3%, respectively.

The S&P 500 index gained 3.7% in the first quarter (excluding dividends), already outpacing the 3.0% gain the benchmark recorded for all of 2005. (Including reinvested dividends, the S&P 500 gained 4.2% for the first quarter of 2006, vs. a 4.9% showing for all of last year.)

All domestic equity style categories rose in the quarter, with the large-cap sector faring the worst and mid-caps falling in between. In terms of sectors, industrial stocks have done well in all categories. In addition, large-cap equities have benefitted from the telecom and energy sectors, while materials and consumer staples worked in small-caps' favor. (For complete results of more than 5,000 funds, see BW Online's Interactive Mutual Fund Scoreboard).

Equity Funds' First Quarter Romp

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