22 April 2019

Investors Sell U.S. Stock Funds

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Investors pulled a net of nearly $11 billion in assets out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold U.S. equities last week, the largest retreat from domestic stocks since the final week of January, Investment Company Institute data released on Wednesday showed.

The move came during the final week of the best quarter for the benchmark S&P 500 index since 2009, and the best first quarter since 1998, according to Refinitiv data. The S&P 500 is up nearly 15% year to date, boosted in part by hopes for a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks and the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to pause interest rate hikes.

With last week's pullback, investors have now sold a net total of about $10.2 billion in assets from domestic stock funds over the 12 full weeks of the year, ICI said.

Investors pulled a net of $190 million out of world stock funds last week, continuing a six-week retreat from the category that began in late February. Despite those losses, world stock funds have brought in a net of about $4.3 billion in assets for the full year to date.

Bond funds added a net of nearly $7.9 billion, continuing a streak of positive inflows that dates to the first full week of the year. Over that time, investors have sent a net of about $112 billion into funds that hold either taxable or municipal bonds. The Vanguard Total Bond Market index fund, one of the world's largest bond funds, is up 2.6 percent for the year to date.

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