Updated from 8:56 a.m. EDT
Mutual funds saw as much as $2.2 billion worth of net inflows in the week ended May 26, as both the stock and bond markets climbed from what many see as something of a bottom after weeks of losses.
TrimTabs, the Santa Rosa, Calif. fund tracker, said domestic equity funds had net inflows of $2.15 billion, reversing the preceding week's net outflow of $499 million. Meanwhile, AMG Data Services, another fund tracker, reported net inflows of $1.42 billion, 45% of which went to domestic equity funds.
During the week, record high oil prices showed signs of leveling off, and major stock indices were all up, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
climbing 1.6%, the
up 2% and the
up 1.7%, fueling a degree of investor optimism near the end of the quarter.
Robert Pavlik, a portfolio manager at Oaktree Asset Management, said that while the rally may not continue into next week, the recent inflow reflected some increased confidence.
"I think we got to a point last week where we might have been a little bit oversold," he said.
Relative to other periods of market prosperity, the move to equity funds was less than robust, but did reverse three consecutive weeks of outflows.
"May has seen very little inflow to equity funds, but money in search of a home is piling up," said Carl Wittnebert, TrimTabs director of research. "New cash during the bull market has averaged $21 billion per month."
Bond funds saw another week of outflows on continuing interest rate hike concerns, with TrimTabs reporting a net selloff of $1.2 billion in all bond funds, and AMG notching $1.6 in outflows from taxable bond funds. Treasury bond funds, however, saw $194 million in new investment for the week.
Pavlik said the bond fund exodus was partly due to investors taking profits off the table, and that the tiny bump in Treasury fund inflows might reflect a small flight to safety. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note went from 4.76% at the end of last week to 4.60% Friday.
"Rates are picking up, but not to the point where I'd be rushing in," he said.
AMG reported net money market fund outflows of $13 billion, reversing two weeks of net inflows.