By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK Jan 9 Investors in U.S.-based funds
poured $4.6 billion into taxable bond funds in the latest week
and limited their commitments to stock funds, taking profits
after stellar stock market gains in 2013, data from Thomson
Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday.
The flows into bond funds in the week ended Jan. 8 marked
the biggest weekly inflow since last May. The preference for
bonds showed investors' reduced appetite for stocks after last
year's major rally.
Funds that hold emerging market debt attracted $146 million
in new cash, marking the first net inflow to the funds since
August, while funds that hold high-yield junk bonds attracted
$642 million, reversing the prior week's outflows.
"Investors are skeptical that the momentum in the U.S. stock
market we had in 2013 will flow into the new year," Jeff
Tjornehoj, head of Americas research at Lipper, said of the
preference for bonds.
Stock funds attracted $1.9 billion in new cash, with
emerging market stock funds taking in $337 million of that sum.
Funds that mainly hold U.S. stocks had outflows of $613 million,
however, marking their first withdrawals in three weeks.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell 0.5
percent over the weekly period, marking a cautious start to the
year as some investors took profits after the index rallied 29.6
percent in 2013.
Investors also pulled $6.8 billion from money market funds,
marking the first outflow in three weeks. The funds, which are
low-risk vehicles that invest in short-term securities, are
viewed as a safe place to park cash.