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Fund investors sell U.S. stocks despite record highs

David Randall

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Investors continued to retreat away from the U.S. stock market, despite the benchmark S&P 500 index hitting new record highs last week, according to figures released Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold domestic stocks lost slightly more than $5.9 billion in outflows in the week that ended May 1. That decline came on the heels of a $7.2 billion outflow the week before. The move came during a week in which the benchmark S&P 500 notched two new record highs, fueled in part by better than expected corporate earnings and the Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates steady. For the year, the S&P 500 is up slightly more than 15%. Fund investors have been net sellers during that rally, pulling a total of $19.8 billion out of U.S. stocks. Taxable and municipal bond funds continued to pull in new assets. Overall, bond funds attracted $9.1 billion in inflows, continuing a streak that has lasted every full week of the year and brought in a total of nearly $160 billion in assets. World stock funds, meanwhile, lost a total of $777 million for the week. Investors have pulled a net $5.3 billion from the category in the year to date.

The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):

5/1/201 4/24/20 4/17/20 4/10/20 4/3/201

9 19 19 19 9Equity -5,952 -16,195 4,545 5,815 -7,496Domesti -5,175 -7,240 3,993 6,215 -7,465

c

World -777 -8,955 551 -400 -31Hybrid -2,474 -131 -976 -122 -3,575Bond 9,127 9,981 8,809 7,824 11,259Taxable 6,993 7,597 7,559 6,686 9,767Municip 2,134 2,384 1,250 1,138 1,492

al

Commodity -192 -342 -101 -286 -983

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Bernadette Baum)