The Crane 100 Money Fund Index yielded 2.24% as of August 31, 2008, unchanged from the prior month-end. Our benchmark 7-day (simple) yield measure is down from 5.01% a year ago, and down from 4.49% at the start of 2008. The broader Crane Money Fund Average yielded 1.96% as of Aug. 31, which was also unchanged from a month earlier. The Crane Tax-Exempt MF Index yielded 1.37% at month-end, down from 1.82% a month earlier.
Crane Data's preliminary monthly statistics, as measured by our taxable Crane MF Average, also show expenses averaging 0.48% and 30-day yields averaging 1.96%. Yields declined sharply last fall and eary in 2008 as repeated cuts in the Federal funds target rate pulled money fund returns lower. Since March, however, yields have been relatively flat. Our full Index series and rankings will be released in the pending September issue of Money Fund Intelligence.
The top-yielding money funds, based on Crane Data's preliminary data collections, as of August 31, were: Touchstone Institutional MMF (2.96%), Oppenheimer Institutional MM E (2.76%), Oppenheimer Institutional MM L (2.75%), Reserve Primary Instit (2.75%), Reserve Govt Two Class Inst (2.72%), Reserve Primary Liquid I (2.72%), Russell Money Market Fund S (2.72%), Dreyfus Cash Mgmt Plus Instit (2.70%), Dreyfus Instit Cash Adv Plus Inst (2.70%), Fidelity Instit MM: MM Port Inst (2.70%), Oppenheimer Institutional MM P (2.70%), Daily Income MM Inst (2.69%), Putnam Prime Money Market I (2.69%), Reserve Primary Liquid II (2.67%), Fidelity Instit MM: Prime MMP Inst (2.67%), `Morgan Stanley Inst Liq MMP Inst (2.67%), and SEI Daily Inc Trust Prime Oblig A (2.67%). Note that these rankings may differ from our Top 5 Rankings above due to the website excluding "restricted" and "internal" funds, as well as funds that don't report daily holdings.