NEW YORK Feb 8 Fund investors worldwide turned
neutral toward U.S. stocks in the latest week while pulling the
most money out of high-yield junk bond funds in 11 weeks, data
from EPFR Global showed on Friday.
Funds that hold U.S. stocks had minor outflows of $16
million in the week ended Feb. 6, the fund-tracking firm said,
in sharp contrast to the prior week, when the funds pulled in
All stock funds had inflows of $6.56 billion in the latest
week, showing that world investors still sought some risk. The
appetite for risk in stocks did not apply to bonds, however, as
funds that hold riskier high-yield corporate bonds suffered
outflows of $1.33 billion. That was the biggest cash loss in 11
weeks, EPFR Global said.
European stock funds had outflows of $264 million, their
first cash losses over a weekly period this year. Investors
continued to favor emerging markets and poured $3.42 billion
into funds that hold those countries' stocks.
Bond funds worldwide pulled in just $1.08 billion in new
money over the reporting period. Funds that hold U.S. bonds
attracted a slight $472 million in new cash, which was less than
a third of the gains they received the prior week.
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.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell in price to yield 2.03
percent at the close of trading on Feb. 1 following the upbeat
employment and manufacturing data.
The safe-haven bond yield was at 1.97 percent in intraday
trading Friday after data showing that the U.S. trade deficit
narrowed in December.
Investors showed the same sentiment toward emerging market
and European bonds as they did toward the countries' stocks.
Emerging market bond funds attracted inflows of $1.27 billion,
while investors pulled $804 million out of European bond funds
in the latest week.