June 5, 2019 / 3:45 PM / 4 months ago

Investors retreat from U.S. stock funds as trade war expands

    By David Randall
    NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - Investors pulled approximately
$4.7 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that
hold U.S. stocks last week as concerns about escalating trade
wars weighed on equity markets worldwide, according to data
released Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute. 
    The retreat from domestic stocks came as the benchmark S&P
500 fell three out of the four trading days of the
holiday-shortened week, and added to a months-long move away
from the U.S. market despite gains in major indexes for the year
to date. Since January, investors have pulled a net of $40.3
billion out of U.S. stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 is up 12% over
the same time. 
    World stocks dropped last week after U.S. President Donald
Trump unexpectedly announced new trade tariffs on Mexican goods
to stem illegal immigration, while the U.S. and China continued
to be at an impasse in talks over ending the trade war between
the world's two largest economies. 
    Taxable and municipal bond funds continued to pull in new
assets, bringing in a net of approximately $3 billion last week.
For the year to date, bond funds have grabbed slightly more than
$177 billion in inflows. 
    World stock funds, meanwhile, were little changed for a
second straight week, losing $302 million in net assets after
gaining $105 million the week before. For the year to date,
world stock funds have lost $5.5 billion in net investor assets.
    
    The following is a broad breakdown of the flows for the
week, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds:   
                     5/29/19  5/22/19  5/15/19   5/8/19   5/1/19
 Equity               -4,714    3,827  -11,397   -8,305   -5,953
           Domestic   -4,412    3,722   -9,569  -10,162   -5,176
           World        -302      105   -1,828    1,857     -776
 Hybrid               -1,191     -736     -985     -837   -1,564
 Bond                  3,040    4,565    1,680    7,592   10,458
           Taxable     1,416    2,486     -138    5,261    8,317
           Munis       1,624    2,078    1,819    2,331    2,141
 Commodity               157      178     -708     -745     -192
 Total                -2,708    7,834  -11,409   -2,294    2,748
 

 (Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and
Susan Thomas)
  
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