May 1, 2019 / 6:20 PM / 22 days ago

TABLE-Investors retreat from U.S. stock market despite record highs

    By David Randall
    NEW YORK, May 1 (Reuters) - Investors pulled slightly more
than $7.2 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds
that hold U.S. stocks last week, ending a two-week streak of
inflows into domestic stock funds, according to data released by
the Investment Company Institute on Wednesday.
    The move came amid a rally that pushed the S&P 500 up
to two new record highs last week, extending a surge that has
lifted the benchmark index up nearly 18% since the start of the
year as investors price in the Federal Reserve's decision to
pause its rate of interest rate hikes. 
    Despite those gains, investors have largely moved away from
the U.S. stock market. Since the start of the year, domestic
funds have lost a total of nearly $14.7 billion in outflows,
according to ICI data. 
    Bond funds, meanwhile, continued to bring in new assets.
Investors sent nearly $10 billion into taxable and municipal
debt funds last week, the largest push into the sector since the
$11.2 billion garnered in the week that ended April 3. Since the
start of the year, bond funds have amassed nearly $150 billion
in new inflows, according to ICI data. 
    World stock funds shed nearly $9 billion in outflows, the
largest retreat from the category since the $9.3 billion lost
during the final week of December. For the year to date,
investors have now pulled slightly more than $4.5 billion out of
world stock funds. World stocks, excluding the United States,
have gained 12.3% over that time. 
    
    The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual
funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):   
  
                   4/24       4/17     4/10       4/3      3/27
 Equity         -16,195      4,542    5,811    -7,496   -11,085
    Domestic     -7,240      3,993    6,210    -7,465   -10,896
    World        -8,955        549     -400       -31      -190
 Hybrid            -131       -976     -122    -3,575      -199
 Bond             9,976      8,809    7,824    11,265     7,884
    Taxable       7,592      7,559    6,686     9,773     5,528
    Municipal     2,384      1,250    1,138     1,492     2,356
 Commodity         -342       -101     -286      -983       141
 Total           -6,692     12,273   13,227      -789    -3,259
 
 (Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
  
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