Economic and political woes are swarming world over. Yet the U.S. stock market continues to enjoy the longest bull run since the 1940s. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones touched new highs yet again in the Monday trading session while the Nasdaq Composite index and the small cap Russell 2000 index logged in big gains, reflecting a broad-based rally.
While a slew of soft economic data and Greece default concerns softened investors’ sentiments and resulted in concerns over a slowdown in the U.S. economy, a wave of mergers and acquisitions as well as increased buybacks propelled the stocks.
Additionally, a rate hike by the Fed is unlikely anytime soon, suggesting cheap money for another quarter and the potential for further upside in stocks. Oil prices, which were endangering global growth and deflationary pressure, have rebounded strongly in recent months while the U.S. dollar weakened slightly.
Further, Q1 earnings and revenue growth came in much better than expected, though weaker than the recent quarters, as per the Zacks Earnings Trend. Total earnings for the S&P 500 reported so far are up 2.4% on 3.7% lower revenues, much better than the decline of 3.3% for earnings and 4.5% for revenues projected at the start of the earnings season.
Given this, there have been winners in every corner of the U.S. market delivering smart returns from a year-to-date look. While this is true, we have highlighted growth funds that are clearly outperforming the broader market fund (SPY) as well as their value counterparts by wide margins. Any of these could be excellent plays for investors seeking to ride out the bullish run in the months ahead.