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Don't look now, but bonds are back (junk, too)

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High yield market 'canary in the coal mine': Pro

After a rough summer of market volatility and expectations of rising interest rates, bonds are back.

Recent data show the U.S. is economy is cooling, tamping down the Federal Reserve's appetite to tighten monetary policy. That's pushed investors back into fixed income across the spectrum, but particularly back into high-yield.

Mutual funds focused on bonds saw $60.4 billion in outflows from July to mid-October, according to the Investment Company Institute. From July to August alone, bonds had lost 1.3 percent of total assets.

Equity investors also headed for the exits, but at a far slower pace, pulling $25.9 billion. The $15.6 trillion mutual fund industry holds about $6 trillion in domestic equity assets and $3.8 trillion in total bond-related money.

Of late, the money tide has turned considerably.