Kiplinger’s Mutual Fund Rankings

Mutual fund records were toppled in the U.S. in 2019, but foreign shares also rose.

Who’s complaining about stock market results for 2019? Not us. Investors in U.S. shares easily shrugged off the threats of a growling bear in late 2018 and pushed the market to record highs throughout 2019. And most foreign markets dazzled. Although they didn’t keep pace with U.S. stocks, they posted double-digit gains—a refreshing turnaround from previous years. In all, it was a winning year for stocks (bonds did well, too). Returns here and in the tables below are through December 31.

Though all major U.S. stock groups did well in 2019, large-company shares led the way, as they have for most of the past decade. The large-company Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index notched a 31.5% return. Stocks in small and midsize companies didn’t disappoint, even though they lagged the S&P 500. The S&P MidCap 400 benchmark of midsize firms gained 26.2%, and the Russell 2000 small-company stock index climbed 25.5%. Technology shares were unstoppable. Information technology was the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 last year, with a 50.3% gain.

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.