BlackRock beats the rap
A lawsuit accusing BlackRock of charging excessive fees was dismissed yesterday. The suit charged that the fund company's directors, who were on more than one board and were paid for each fund they represented, could not act independently and instead served the interests of their fund advisers by failing to keep fund fees low. The dismissal is the latest indication that such charges are difficult to prove. Similar suits against T. Rowe Price, Merrill Lynch and Scudder Kemper were also dismissed.
For the first time since August 1993, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund recorded net withdrawals. Investors pulled a net $740 million out of the $108 billion fund, according to the Vanguard Investors newsletter. Investment into the fund was just $330 million for the first three months of 2000, down from $4.6 billion during the same time period last year. But it appears that the money has simply moved to some of Vanguard's other offerings, primarily the Wilshire 5000, which had inflows totaling $330 million in March.
Licking their wounds
From The Wall Street Journal
"I feel sick to my stomach," said Jay Tracey, manager of the Oppenheimer Enterprise Fund. Many fund managers share the feeling. While most mutual funds survived yesterday's onslaught, many were already reeling from the twists of the last few days. Even before counting Tuesday's losses, 30 U.S. stock funds have declined 30% or more since March 10, according to Lipper and the losses weren't limited to tech funds. Among the hardest hit funds were PBHG New Opportunities and Orbitex Growth, both down 42% from March 10 through Tuesday. Among funds with more than $1 billion in assets, two of the biggest decliners were PBHG Select Equity and Putnam OTC Emerging Growth, both down 37% through Tuesday. By contrast, the average diversified U.S.-stock fund was down 1.7% in the period. Buying by Janus yesterday afternoon may have helped the market rebound.
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