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T. Rowe, BlackRock and MFS top indexes through August

Among the 10 largest U.S. equity managers, funds from T. Rowe Price, BlackRock (BLK) and MFS outperformed their respective indexes through Aug. 31. T. Rowe Price was the only manager to provide material excess returns across its fund family over the trailing three- and five-year periods. BlackRock's year-to-date showing might signal a turnaround in the manager's active strategies as its funds have struggled to outperform their benchmarks over longer periods.

For the three-year period, about 58% of the 60 T. Rowe Price funds observed provided returns in excess of their stated benchmarks, while about 52% of Dimensional's outperformed. Only about 18% of American Fund's products exceeded their indexes in that period and only about one-fifth of J.P. Morgan's were able to outperform.