Second Quarter 2017

The Holmes Macro Trends Fund had a total return of 4.09 percent in the second quarter of 2017, outperforming its benchmark, the S&P Composite 1500 Index, which returned 2.96 percent. Overall, smaller companies and growth-oriented stocks underperformed. See complete fund performance here.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. The principal value and investment return of an investment will fluctuate so that your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Strengths

  • Stock selection was strong in health care, consumer discretionary and materials.
  • The fund's overweight in materials along with the tactical sector investments helped performance.
  • Select Comfort, Supernus Pharmaceuticals and Rayonier Advanced Materials were among the best contributors to fund performance.

Weaknesses

  • The fund's investments in information technology, real estate and industrials failed to produce positive results.
  • Stock selection was ineffective in telecommunication services, one of the fund's smaller allocations.
  • Investments in HSN, Allegiant and Greenhill were among the worst contributors to the fund's performance.

Opportunities

  • The Federal Reserve raised its growth outlook for the U.S. economy. It now expects real GDP to rise 2.1 percent to 2.2 percent in 2017, compared to its previous outlook of 2.0 percent to 2.2 percent. It also expects the unemployment rate to fall to between 4.3 and 4.2 percent this year, down from its previous projection of 4.5 percent to 4.6 percent.
  • An important stock market signal just got its most bullish reading of the year. Options traders are the most unhedged on the S&P 500 Index since December, showing that they're not particularly worried about the market falling, even with major indices sitting near record highs.
  • Even though U.S. economic data has disappointed this year, there is not much talk of a recession in the media. Further, BCA analysts comment that several of their models show slim chances of an economic contraction. A delay of "Trumponomics" should prolong the economic expansion and support the economy over the next six to 12 months.

Threats

  • The Fed raised the target range of the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1 percent to 1.25 percent. While it maintained its forecast for one more hike this year, it also acknowledged that "inflation has declined recently." The divide between the Fed and the bond market is getting wider by the day. Fed Chair Janet Yellen characterized the recent weakening trend in inflation as fleeting. However, bond traders think otherwise. The rally in the fixed-income markets that pushed yields lower suggests traders believe the slowdown in inflation is more than transitory, countering the Fed's confidence in stronger growth and labor markets. The consumer price index (CPI) data released was particularly meaningful, as the core reading came in below forecasts, the third miss in a row. Year-over-year, the reading came in at 1.9 percent, below the expected 2.2 percent.
  • The Fed laid out its plan to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet at its latest meeting. The basic idea is that the Fed will stop reinvesting the principal of Treasury securities when they mature. Once the program begins later this year, the Fed will reinvest the principal of maturities only if it gets back more than $6 billion in principal returned in a given month. The "cap" will then be increased by $6 billion every three months until it reaches $30 billion a month. This is likely to push yields up, hurting fixed-income securities and creating tighter financial conditions.
  • Hedge funds are stocking up on bets against small-cap stocks, one of the Trump trade's biggest winners. Hedge funds and large speculators hold the biggest net short position in six years on the Russell 2000 Index.

The S&P 500 Stock Index is a widely recognized capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stock prices in U.S. companies. The S&P 1500 Composite Index is a broad-based capitalization-weighted index of 1500 U.S. companies and is comprised of the S&P 400, S&P 500, and the S&P 600. The index was developed with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1994.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of the most widely recognized price measures for tracking the price of a market basket of goods and services purchased by individuals. The weights of components are based on consumer spending patterns.

Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Holmes Macro Trends Fund as a percentage of net assets as of 6/30/2017: Select Comfort Corp. 4.29%, Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc. 4.76%, Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. 3.85%, HSN Inc. 2.07%, Allegiant Travel Co. 2.45%, Greenhill Co. Inc. 0.96%.

Net Asset Value
as of 08/22/2017

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $5.47 0.03 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $7.38 -0.04 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $6.46 -0.04 China Region Fund USCOX $10.37 0.15 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $6.84 0.03 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $23.79 0.19 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $19.51 0.15 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.23 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change