The large-cap benchmarks reached record highs in the quarter but gave back much of those gains and ended only slightly higher. Smaller-cap stocks performed better, helped in part by their lower exposure to foreign markets, which have become more challenging for U.S. firms because of the strong U.S. dollar. Information technology stocks slightly trailed the broader market. Within our investment universe, information services shares performed very well, and health care-related issues were also strong. Telecom equipment stocks lagged.
The Science & Technology Fund returned 3.24% in the quarter compared with 0.95% for the S&P 500 Index and 3.56% for the Lipper Science & Technology Funds Index. For the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, the fund returned 13.53% versus 12.73% for the S&P 500 Index and 13.46% for the Lipper Science & Technology Funds Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 13.53%, 14.10%, and 9.77% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of March 31, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.86% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.
For up-to-date standardized total returns, including the most recent month-end performance, please click on the Performance tab, above.
Current performance may be lower or higher than the quoted past performance, which cannot guarantee future results.
Share price, principal value, and return will vary and you may have a gain or loss when you sell your shares.
We have a very large overweight in the media segment, where companies are benefiting from the increased global availability of the Internet and the consequent adoption of online services. Market-leading companies are able to exploit growing global demand for data, content, and e-commerce. We believe there are select opportunities within the semiconductor sector based on company-specific drivers. Our holdings are concentrated in firms that we believe are positioned to enjoy solid growth and profitability across technology eras.
Growth in the global economy remains weak, and the recent surge in the U.S. dollar appears to be a taking a toll not only on U.S. exporters, but also on demand in the global technology sector. However, the Internet continues to be a source of value creation and cloud computing continues to be a growing influence in the enterprise technology world. We are finding opportunities in the memory and data storage spaces on the back of industry consolidation and more rational behaviors by their constituents. We remain dedicated to applying rigorous analysis and fundamental research to gain in-depth knowledge of companies and the industry, and we uncover stocks with attractive prospects.