Investors extend largest pullback from U.S. stock funds since 2016

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FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors pulled $4.5 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold U.S. stocks last week, extending the longest consecutive pullback from the domestic stock market since the spring of 2016, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

The retreat from the U.S. stock market came despite a rally that has pushed the S&P 500 to record highs on the strength of corporate earnings and widespread expectations the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates this year.

The S&P 500 is up 3% for the year to date, more than double the performance of any comparable developed market in Europe or Asia, according to Refinitiv data.

Investors continued to flood into taxable and municipal debt, sending nearly $17 billion into bond funds last week. That inflow came on the heels of $24.7 billion in inflows the week before, completing the largest two-week jump in bond fund assets since at least 2013, according to ICI data.

World stock funds, meanwhile, brought in $3.3 billion in new assets, notching the fifth consecutive week of inflows into the category.

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Chris Reese

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