* Investor net outflow from US stock funds $3.7 bln
* Taxable bond funds received $19.8 bln
* PIMCO, Vanguard, JP Morgan top fund families in Feb.
BOSTON, March 15 Investors in February pulled
an estimated $3.7 billion from U.S. stock-focused mutual funds,
dashing hopes of a rebound in demand for equities, while
showering $19.7 billion on taxable bond funds, according to a
report from Morningstar.
After investors pulled almost $26 billion from U.S. stock
funds last year, analysts thought the trend might have turned
around in January, when investors added a net $2.7 billion. But
the one-month inflow ended in February, fund analysts at
Morningstar wrote in their latest monthly report.
Bond giant PIMCO was the top recipient of new money in
February, receiving $7.2 billion in net inflow. Privately held
Vanguard Group was second, receiving $6.9 billion in net
inflow, followed by the fund unit of bank JPMorgan Chase
(JPM.N), which got $2.7 billion.
Investors continued to flee American Funds, withdrawing
$2.4 billion in February after yanking almost $1 billion the
prior month and $23 billion in 2009. Legg Mason (LM.N) also
remained out of favor, seeing $478 million slip out the door
after $461 million departed in January and $5.1 billion in
In addition to the continued popularity of taxable bond
funds, municipal bond funds gained. Investors added almost $5
billion to muni funds in February, about the same as in
January. The total $10.1 billion of inflow was the strongest
two-month start ever experienced, Morningstar said.
Index-based exchange-traded funds received net inflow of
$4.6 billion in February, reversing $16.7 billion of net
outflow in January.
(Reporting by Aaron Pressman; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)