Stocks have been under pressure this year, as surging inflation and rising interest rates have raised concern over a possible recession. But some funds are weathering the storm and offering sizable returns despite the turmoil. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 900 points — erasing a sharp rally seen in the previous session — while the S & P 500 and Nasdaq lost 3.3% and 4.5%, respectively. CNBC Pro used Morningstar's database to find the outperforming funds — many of which are dividend ETFs, which tend to perform well during turbulent markets given their lower volatility relative to the broader market. These funds also return capital through dividend payments, allowing investors to preserve some capital even as the market gets hit. Here's the list: The WisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Fund (DHS) is the best-performing fund on the list this year, rising 5.8%. The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.38%, has more than $1 billion in assets under management as well as a distribution yield of 3.45%. It also aims to provide exposure to companies with high dividend yields. The fund's top performers include energy names such as Devon and Exxon Mobil , which are up 48.2% and 44.7%, respectively, in 2022. The fund also holds Chevron, which is up more than 39% year to date. Devon has a dividend yield of 5.5%, while Exxon yields 3.96%, according to FactSet. Chevron's dividend yield stands at 3.47%. The First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund (FDL) is another dividend-focused fund that made the list. The fund sports a 3.5% yield and is up more than 5% in 2022. It also has a net expense ratio of 0.45% and more than $2 billion in assets under management. Tobacco company Altria and miner Newmont are among the fund's best-performing holdings year to date, having gained 18% and 14.7%, respectively. Altria yields more than 6%, and Newmont has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Other dividend-focused funds that made the list are: the iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV) , the Invesco S & P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD) , the SPDR Portfolio S & P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD) , the ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (SDOG) the Invesco Select Dividend ETF (DVY) and the Invesco High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers ETF (PEY) . The Pacer U.S. Cash Cows 100 ETF (COWZ) also made the list. The fund is up 3.8% year to date and tracks companies with "strong cash flows and healthy balance sheets" that also trade at a discount, according to Pacer's site. The fund holds $4.7 billion in assets and has an expense ratio of 0.49%. Its best-performing stock is Occidental Petroleum, which has more than doubled this year. The fund also owns Steel Dynamics and Archer-Daniels-Midland, which are up more than 30% year to date. Another fund that's doing well despite the market's downturn this year is the Invesco S & P 500 Pure value ETF (RPV) , which aims to give investors to names that are trading at steep discounts. The fund is up 3.4% year to date and has an expense ratio of 0.35% along with more than $3.8 billion in assets. Some of the best-performing names in the fund include Mosaic and Nielsen Holdings, which are up 63.5% and 30.3%, respectively, in 2022. Bottom line: These ETFs have provided investors with some protection, as well as relatively strong returns, even as the broader market sees sharp swings on concerns over the economy.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, April 6, 2022.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Stocks have been under pressure this year, as surging inflation and rising interest rates have raised concern over a possible recession. But some funds are weathering the storm and offering sizable returns despite the turmoil.