Investors shun U.S. stock funds as budget talks falter: ICI

NEW YORK Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:37pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based mutual funds shunned stocks for the 20th consecutive week as talks on a U.S. budget deal faltered, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday.

Stock funds had estimated net outflows of $7.16 billion in the week ended December 5, said ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. In the prior week, investors pulled just $627 million out of the funds, which was the least taken out of the funds in 19 weeks.

Bond funds, meanwhile, had net inflows of $5.23 billion, which is the most new cash they have received in three weeks.

The benchmark S&P 500 stock index fell 0.33 percent over the reporting period as President Barack Obama and Congress remained at loggerheads over how to resolve the looming "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts.

Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income securities, had outflows of $70 million after raking in $144 million the previous week. The funds have suffered outflows for just seven weeks this year.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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