December 18, 2019 / 5:48 PM / a month ago

Fund investors pull back from U.S. stocks as year-end nears

    By David Randall
    NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. fund investors started
closing the books on 2019 by withdrawing more than $10.9 billion
from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold domestic
stocks last week, the largest pullback since early October,
according to Investment Company Institute data released on
Wednesday. 
    The declines marked the 10th out of the last 12 weeks that
investors have retreated from the U.S. stock market despite the
benchmark S&P 500 touching a series of record highs.
    The index is up more than 27% for the year to date, notching
its best performance since the slightly more than 29% annual
gain in 2013, thanks in part to the Federal Reserve's decision
to keep interest rates low.
    Investors pulled back from foreign stocks as well,
withdrawing nearly $1.3 billion from the category. Instead, they
continued to seek the perceived safety of bonds, which have
rallied in anticipation that the Fed will not raise rates unless
the central bank sees signs of persistent inflation.
    Bond funds took in nearly $10.2 billion in inflows, pushing
the year to date gain for the category to nearly $333.4 billion.
    
    The following is a broad breakdown of the flows for the
week, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in
millions of dollars:
    
             12/11/20  12/4/201  11/26/20  11/20/20  11/13/20
                   19         9        19        19        19
 Equity       -10,906    -1,054       -23    -5,632     1,591
    Domesti    -9,628    -3,256       609    -7,048    -3,328
    c                                                
    World      -1,278     2,202      -631     1,416     4,919
 Hybrid        -1,988      -703      -748      -345      -268
 Bond          12,484    12,035     8,665    13,262     6,680
    Taxable    10,193     9,763     5,997    10,525     4,873
    Municip     2,291     2,273     2,668     2,737     1,806
    al                                               
 Commodity       -445      -446       243      -355    -1,036
 Total           -855     9,832     8,137     6,929     6,967
 
 (Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Richard Chang)
  
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