Small-cap funds led the charge of all types of equity funds in the fourth quarter, posting 14.2% gains, Investor's Business Daily reports. Diversified equity funds averaged 10.67% during the quarter to end a largely uncertain year on a high note.

Growth stocks edged out value stocks, which rose 9% during the same period, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 3.4% last month and 7% throughout the past quarter.

The Nasdaq jumped 14.7% in the final quarter, while the S&P 600, a small-cap index, rose 12.8% during the same period.

The average domestic diversified stock fund rose 12% last year and small-cap value funds gained 20.9% during the same period, according to Lipper.

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