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Fund flows show investors' reticence on U.S. stocks

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Investors flooded U.S.-based taxable-bond funds with $7.9 billion during the latest week, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday, a 36th straight week of inflows that shows investors further stepping back from domestic stocks. The push into bond mutual fund and exchange-traded funds comes even with the S&P 500 on pace to deliver double-digit percent returns for seventh year in the last decade. Matt Schreiber, president at WBI Investments Inc, said wage growth has been soft, state-level economic data weak and momentum for U.S. President Donald Trump's economic agenda slow. All that may point to a weaker stock market going forward. "We are concerned about the market being at all-time highs," he said. "We could be flirting with recession." Investors pulled $2.8 billion from domestic stock funds during the week ended Aug. 9, marking seven weeks of withdrawals in the last eight weeks, ICI data showed. World stock funds attracted $4.5 billion, the 36th consecutive week of inflows. Municipal bond funds, which invest in tax-exempt bonds, pulled in $1.1 billion, pushing overall bond inflows for the week to $8.9 billion, according to the trade group. The reporting period closed a day before a sell-off hit U.S. stocks following an exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea. The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (all figures in millions of dollars):

8/9 8/2 7/26 7/19 7/12/2017 Equity 1,724 283 4,969 2,976 3,001 -Domestic -2,776 -3,878 1,055 -4,542 -2,118 -World 4,500 4,161 3,915 7,518 5,119 Hybrid -339 -943 -350 -664 -688 Bond 8,939 7,005 6,375 13,611 4,780 -Taxable 7,864 6,106 5,651 12,810 4,438 -Municipal 1,075 899 724 801 342 Commodity -144 -359 -1,168 -1,014 -249 Total 10,179 5,987 9,827 14,909 6,843

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Tom Brown)