US-based stock mutual funds reap $4.13 bln, extending gains -Lipper
By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds poured $4.13 billion into stock mutual funds, the fifth straight week of commitments from retail investors as zeal for stocks pushed into February, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. The latest gains for the week ended Feb. 6 mark the strongest five-week run into stock mutual funds since April of 2000. The funds have pulled in $24.9 billion over that period. "The party continued," said Tom Roseen, head of research services at Lipper. Stock exchange-traded funds reaped inflows of $1.95 billion, down from the prior week's gains of $6.9 billion. Stock mutual funds and ETFs combined pulled in $6.08 billion in the latest week, roughly half the previous week's $12.7 billion in gains but still showing high demand. Investors turned cold on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF fund, and pulled $3 billion from it after rushing $4.57 billion into the fund the prior week. Investors favored funds that hold non-U.S. stocks in the latest week, as $4.33 billion went into mutual funds and ETFs that target foreign companies. Mutual funds that hold emerging market stocks were particular winners with gains of $1.76 billion. Mutual funds and ETFs that hold U.S. stocks, meanwhile, fell behind their non-U.S. counterparts with inflows of $1.75 billion. ETFs are generally believed to represent the investment behavior of institutional investors, while mutual funds are thought to represent the retail investor. BOND MUTUAL FUNDS IN FAVOUR The benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent over the period. The momentum of the rally carried over from January, when the index rose 5.1 percent, its best monthly gain since October of 2011. Over the week, revisions to U.S. jobs data showing that employers added 127,000 more jobs in November and December than previously reported boosted sentiment. Upbeat data on U.S. factory activity and the U.S. services sector also showed positive strides in the economy, while strong corporate earnings continued to drive investors into stocks. Bond funds including ETFs, meanwhile, pulled in $2.27 billion over the weekly period. Retail investors dished out $3.3 billion to bond mutual funds, up modestly from the prior week's gains of $2.9 billion. "Investors are not tiring at all of the bond market," Roseen of Lipper said on the new retail money into the funds. But institutional investors made the opposite bet on bonds and pulled $1.03 billion from bond ETFs. Bond enthusiasts continued to heap cash into investment-grade corporate bond funds, to which they gave $1.61 billion, up slightly from $1.48 billion the prior week. High-yield "junk" bond funds, however, saw a sharp drop in demand as investors pulled $1.38 billion out of the funds. That marks the biggest investor outflows since June of last year. Roseen of Lipper said that investors in riskier high-yield securities might have withdrawn after stock market losses on Feb. 4, when new concerns arose over the euro zone debt crisis. Flexible funds, which can invest in stocks and bonds of any origin, continued to attract strong demand with inflows of roughly $2.21 billion. That is the biggest gain for the funds since March of 2011. The weekly Lipper fund flow data is compiled from reports issued by U.S.-domiciled mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The following is a broad breakdown of the flows for the week, including exchange-traded funds (in $ billions): Sector Flow Chg % Assets Count ($Bil) Assets ($Bil) All Equity Funds 6.085 0.20 3,140.165 10,130 Domestic Equities 1.753 0.08 2,328.265 7,512 Non-Domestic Equities 4.331 0.53 811.901 2,618 All Taxable Bond Funds 2.266 0.15 1,545.563 4,838 All Money Market Funds -4.857 -0.20 2,398.707 1,371 All Municipal Bond Funds 0.109 0.03 326.071 1,352
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