Ashake-up among the biggest U.S. mutual funds points to shifting sands in the markets at large. After a five-year reign as the world's largest mutual fund, Pimco's Total Return fund (PTTRX) has been eclipsed by Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index fund (VTSMX) - a shift that's largely due to the bond market's lackluster performance, says Morningstar fund analyst Michael Rawson. "It's a reflection of the strong equity market compared to the flat bond market."

The Pimco offering is, of course, a core bond fund, and the Vanguard fund, which Rawson describes as the quintessential core equity fund, covers virtually the entire U.S. equity market, holding more than 3,500 stocks.

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