December 5, 2018 / 4:28 PM / 6 days ago

U.S. fund investors pull most cash in 6 weeks from stocks -ICI

    By Trevor Hunnicutt
    NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. fund investors ignored
ostensibly positive signals on trade and monetary policy during
the latest week, pulling the most cash from stocks in six weeks,
according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data on
Wednesday.
    Nearly $6.4 billion tumbled out of stocks and another $3.5
billion from bonds during the week ended Nov. 28, the ICI said.
The trade group's data covers U.S.-based mutual funds and
exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
    During the week, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index
was helped 3.6 percent higher by remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve
Chair Jerome Powell that interest rates are near levels
estimated to neither brake nor boost the economy. That statement
is a fact, but its emphasis by the Fed chair was taken by
investors as a signal the Fed could slow rate hikes, helping
stocks.
    The market also smiled on comments by White House economic
adviser Larry Kudlow that a meeting between President Donald
Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Argentina on
Saturday was an opportunity to "turn the page" on a trade war.

    Market-friendly developments on trade and monetary policy
were seen clearing important obstacles away from the equity
market. But investors smarting from weaker returns across
financial assets this year are showing increased caution about
growth prospects going forward.
    The average U.S.-based stock fund was down 2.6 percent this
year while the typical bond fund fell 1.3 percent, according to
data from Refinitiv's Lipper research service late last month.  
 
    The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual
funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):
                   11/28   11/20   11/14    11/7  10/31/2018
 Equity           -6,350    -354   3,970    -168       5,641
      Domestic    -4,614    -855   2,679  -3,971       6,376
      World       -1,736     501   1,291   3,802        -735
 Hybrid           -3,391  -2,476  -2,103  -2,878      -3,370
 Bond             -3,532  -3,798  -2,313     793     -18,605
      Taxable     -2,636  -3,220  -1,543   1,703     -17,409
      Municipal     -896    -578    -770    -909      -1,196
 Commodity             4     -65     413     -72          43
 Total           -13,268  -6,693     -34  -2,324     -16,291
 
 (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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