NEW YORK (AP) — Down, down, down. That's the direction of stocks in the BRICS economies, which were investment darlings last year but now seem deadweights.

In stock market terms, it's been a disappointing year for the emerging-market powerhouses that make up the cute acronym: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Almost all the major stock indexes are lower in the five countries. The market in the U.S., by contrast, is up 15 percent.

But BRICS, for a lot of reasons, are still a good buy to many investors, who think this year's declines are just a blip and not a long-term trend.

The economy is growing in every BRICS country. China expanded at a rate of nearly 8 percent last year, lower than previous years but enviable to most everyone else, including the U.S., which grew just a hair above 2 percent. Growth in the BRICS countries will continue to outstrip that of the developed world, and even that of overall emerging markets, for at least the next five years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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