Standard & Poor’s said today that some of the newest mutual funds in the industry outperformed their older counterparts by nearly 2%.

The research firm said one-year-old funds posted declines of 9.8% in 2001 compared to 11.9% for the entire S&P 500 index. The reason, analysts say, is that relatively few of the younger funds were growth-oriented, an investment style that fared poorly during last year’s bear market.

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