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Top five holdings pay off for equity managers

The five most commonly held companies as of June 30 across eVestment's universe of equity strategies returned an average 13.7% quarter-to-date, and 17.4% since the start of 2017. Over those periods, the S&P 500 index returned 7.7% and 10.6%, respectively. Through Thursday's close, only Johnson & Johnson was down since the start of the year at -1.1%, however dividends paid by the company brought its total return to about 1%.

Amazon was the 10th most commonly held stock, remaining steady in that position over the 12 months since June 2017. Royal Dutch Shell and Alibaba Group were the only companies in the top 20 outside the U.S. Equity managers also have caught on to the trend of cutting the cord as Comcast has been slowly dropping out of favor. The cable company fell six spots to 16th over the 12 months ended June 30.