More than $46 billion thundered out of U.S. stock mutual funds
and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the most ever, while a
near-record $13 billion poured from bonds, according to the
research service. Relatively low-risk money market funds pulled
in $81 billion, also the most recorded, the research service's
The withdrawals appeared to show investor confidence cracking in
the waning days of a wild year of up-and-down trading that has
left many people with losses across both stock and bond funds, a
The end-of-year numbers could also reflect changes related to
capital gains distributions and as investors re-evaluate their
holdings for tax reasons and other purposes, though in other
years the volume has not been this high in a single week.
U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes, high corporate borrowing,
rising relative yields on short-term bonds, U.S.-China trade
tensions and slowing growth in corporate profits have left
investors with much to stew over. The average U.S.-based equity
fund is down 6.3 percent in the year through Dec. 11, while its
bond counterpart is down 0.9 percent, Lipper said.
More than $45 billion of the withdrawals came from equity mutual
funds, heavily used by retail investors during the week. Lipper
measures a week as the seven-day period from Thursday to
Wednesday, and much of its records date back to 1992.
Individual investors are the most pessimistic about stock
performance they have been in more than five years, with 49
percent expecting the market to fall in the next six months,
according to a widely-followed survey by the American
Association of Individual Investors covering the latest week.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Jennifer
Ablan and Rosalba O'Brien)
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