By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, Nov 21 Investors in U.S.-based mutual funds took the most cash out of stock funds in six weeks ahead of meetings in Washington, D.C. surrounding the looming "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday. Stock funds had estimated net outflows of $8.38 billion in the week ended Nov. 14, the most since early October, said ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. The outflows indicate greater bearishness toward stocks. The previous week, investors took just $1.84 billion out of the funds, the least in 16 weeks. Demand for bond funds was also modestly weaker than the previous week. The funds had net inflows of $6.61 billion over the reporting period, showing a dip from the prior week's inflows of $7.47 billion. The benchmark S&P 500 stock index fell 2.8 percent over the reporting period as concerns rose as to whether U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress could reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts set to begin at the start of next year. Obama met with top U.S. lawmakers last Friday in the first face-to-face meeting on the fiscal cliff, and the parties hope to start serious negotiations after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The harsh sentiment toward stocks also hit hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income securities. The funds suffered outflows of $1.22 billion, t h e most since early June. The following table shows a breakdown of ICI flows for the past five weeks (all figures in the millions of dollars) : 10/17/12 10/24/12 10/31/12 11/7/12 11/14/2012 Total Equity -2,492 -2,470 -2,486 -1,837 -8,383 Domestic -2,123 -1,850 -1,937 -2,137 -6,629 World -369 -619 -549 301 -1,754 Hybrid* 833 1,322 -673 553 -1,218 Total Bond 8,825 6,599 2,588 7,470 6,613 Taxable 7,556 5,651 2,207 6,387 5,350 Municipal 1,269 948 381 1,084 1,263 Total 7,166 5,452 -571 6,187 -2,988 *Hybrid funds can invest in stocks and/or fixed income securities.