When mutual fund investors receive their year-end statements, most will be uplifted by the fact that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up 24.9% for the year through Dec. 24, according to Lipper data.

The best-performing sector is global science and technology, with these funds up 69.5% for the year, followed by basic material funds, up 66.9%, largely due to the rise in commodities prices. Gold funds are on track to deliver average returns of 52.9%, and diversified U.S. stock funds are up 31.7%.

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