Mutual fund concentration

Over the past month the stock of Enron Corp., one of the largest U.S. stocks, has been virtually wiped out as the energy trading company unraveled.  Although many mutual funds hold the stock, a few will be particularly affected because they held big Enron positions.  Three Janus funds—Janus Two, Special Situations, and Orion—and the Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty fund had positions in Enron approaching 5% of their total assets, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

Enron hit a high just under $85 a share over the last year. By the end of 2001 it was worth less than $1 a share. “Growth” stock funds are particularly vulnerable to picking companies like Enron in their attempts to boost returns, the Journal reports. Other growth funds in recent years held large positions in major stocks that crashed, including Cendant, Waste Management, and Lucent Technologies, it reported.