Lipper Analytical Services reported continuing signs of a reversal in the market in the comparison of the 3.28% loss of the average Standard & Poor's 500 Index mutual fund through Dec. 12 to the average small company mutual fund gain of 0.63%.
Small-cap stock funds have engineered a complete turnaround from earlier in the quarter, when S&P 500 stock funds led all major stock indexes higher.
A Lipper report said the flip-flop could be a sign the U.S. market has changed directions, as the best performers beat a retreat that might extend to the end of the quarter.
Lipper also reported the fourth quarter was the best this year for real estate mutual funds, which rose an average 9.29% from Sept. 30 to Dec. 12.
Funds in the financial services sector also continued their strong streak, increasing 8.55% for the quarter through Dec. 12 and 24.73% for the year to date through Dec. 12.