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Investors keep fleeing the market

U.S. stock mutual funds lost $620 million during the week ended June 13, according to the Investment Company Institute. Tallying it up, that means investors have yanked money out the stock market for 16 of the last 17 weeks.

Boris Sullivan

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Investors continue to diss stocks, as they grapple with worries about Europe’s debt problems and signs of a slowing global economy.

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U.S. stock mutual funds lost $620 million during the week ended June 13, according to the Investment Company Institute. Tallying it up, that means investors have yanked money out the stock market for 16 of the last 17 weeks.

Interestingly, investors added money to U.S. stocks during the final week of May – a week that ended with the market’s worst sell-off of the year. May wasn’t much better — it was the worst month in two years for stocks.

Stocks have had a pretty good June so far, excluding June 1 (see above reference to the market’s worst sell-off). The SP 500 (SPX), Nasdaq (COMP) and Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) managed to log two straight weeks of gains.

But worries about Europe’s debt crisis, Spain’s banks and Greece’s efforts to renegotiate its bailout will keep investors on edge for some time. Toss in today’s reports that signaled a slowdown in the global economy and you’ve got the perfect conditions for choppy trading to continue.

Since the beginning of the year, investors have pulled $56 billion from U.S. stock mutual funds. By comparison, the funds brought in $6.4 billion during the first five months of 2011 and lost just $18 billion during the first five months of 2010.

Meanwhile, bond mutual funds took in $3.6 billion in assets, compared with the previous week’s $1.5 billion inflow.

Hybrid funds, which invest in both stocks and bonds, gained $966 million during the second week of June, reversing the prior week’s $1.2 billion outflow. Hybrid funds have enjoyed inflows for much of 2012.

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Investors keep fleeing the market

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