U.S. stock market leadership has been narrow in 2015. As noted in our blog postdated August 19, all of the S&P 500s returns this year can be attributed to five companies (through 8/17).The remaining stocks, as a whole, detracted from performance.
This narrow leadership has been centered on aggressive growth stocks. The adjacent chart ranks large cap mutual funds according to their Value-Growth score (the same metric Morningstar uses for its style box). Strong returns have been limited to the most aggressive mutual funds, which also exhibit very high valuations as measured by Price-to-Earnings ratios.
2015 portfolio returns have been modest for investors who do not have sizable exposure to this area of the market. Even so, we recommend investors be cautious toward these stocks, as they are richly priced and it now has been four years since the last sizable market pullback.