While mutual funds put in a strong performance this year -- 57% of 7,500 analyzed funds had positive returns in 2011 through October 28 -- only 689 of those funds with gains for the year earned a five-star domestic equity ranking from S&P Capital IQ. The rankings take into consideration many attributes, including the valuation and risk of a fund’s underlying holdings as well as cost factors.

In a report this week, S&P Capital IQ mutual fund analyst Todd Rosenbluth highlighted three five-star funds: FBR Gas Utility Index Fund (GASFX), Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Fund (SGROX) and Artisan Small Cap Fund (ARTSX).

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