A rally in the fourth quarter boosted most equity funds, which rose an average of 13.6% for the year, well above the S&P 500's 9% gain.

Of all sectors, small-cap value funds were the biggest winners, rising 20.9% in 2004. The second-best performing sector was small-cap core funds, up 18.5% during the year. By comparison, the Russell 200 Index of small-cap stocks turned in a performance of 17%.

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