NEW YORK (
) -- U.S. stocks have been riding high for most of the summer but investors in mutual funds still aren't feeling like they've missed the boat.
In fact, instead of putting money to work in stocks, they continue to siphon it out.
According to data from the
Investment Company Institute
, long-term mutual funds investing in equities saw outflows of $5.16 billion for the week ended Sept. 19, the highest amount in roughly a month. Funds investing in domestic stocks experienced outflows to the tune of $4.80 billion, the largest exodus since the week ended Aug. 1.
On the flip side, bond funds continued to reign supreme, racking up inflows of $7.99 billion for the week, while hybrid funds, which invest in both stocks and bonds, took in $1.64 billion.
, the major U.S. stock averages are still sitting within shouting distance of mullti-year highs but it's telling that the bullishness has never really boiled over. Between the presidential election, the fiscal cliff and Europe's ongoing drama, there's still a fair amount of apprehension out there.
Add in expectations for a year-over-year decline in third-quarter earnings, recent high-profile warnings from
, and the considerable appreciation stocks have already enjoyed this year, and taking profits on big winners seems pretty prudent.
The stimulus programs unveiled this month by the
European Central Bank
are looking priced in at this point, so it's hard to too carried away by the fact that the punch bowl is going to remain full for a while. And as Philly Fed President Charles Plosser pointed out Tuesday, there's no guarantee all this accommodation is going to manifest itself in a spurt of sustained economic growth anytime soon.
Deutsche Bank said the uncertainty surrounding an eventual bailout for Spain is a contributing factor in the near-term.
"With the central bank liquidity guns loaded any short-term set back is unlikely to be severe but until Spain requests aid it's hard to see risk assets making much progress," the firm said. "Clearly such a request could come in the next few days but it's more likely in our opinion that it won't until a bit more market pressure is applied to the situation. There are also those who think that a request for aid is unlikely to come before key regional elections on October 21st."
As for Thursday's scheduled news,
Research In Motion
is reporting its numbers after the closing bell, and Wall Street is looking for a loss of 47 cents a share from the BlackBerry maker in its fiscal second quarter ended in August on revenue of $2.49 billion.
The stock has languished throughout 2012, plunging nearly 70% in the past year and hitting a 52-week low of $6.22 on Monday. Shares enjoyed a bounce of 6%-plus during Wednesday's regular session after Goldman Sachs boosted its revenue view but the company's predicament still looks pretty grim as it deals with stiff competition from
iPhone 5 and the plethora of smartphones powered by
Android operating system.
One of the many big question marks hanging over the company is when the BlackBerry 10 will actually arrive. Back in late June, the company said it's targeting the first quarter of calendar 2013 and backing off that already-delayed goal would be a disaster. Wall Street will also be looking for an update on the extent of the layoffs the company is undertaking.
The sell side is overwhelmingly pessimistic about the stock with just 2 of the 47 analysts covering RIM at buy and rest split between hold (28), undperform (11) and sell (6). The median 12-month price target sits at $8.
Still, Sterne Agee, which has a neutral rating on RIM shares, is expecting a loss of 29 cents a share in the quarter, narrower than the consensus view.
"For the first time in a while, we believe consensus estimates may be adequately pessimistic looking for a sizable Y/Y decline in revenue and a big operating loss," wrote analyst Shawn Wu. "With low expectations, we believe there is a fair chance that the company may meet or even slightly beat. However, it may not matter as we think most important will be its cash balance and downsizing plans that hopefully won't put too much cash strain."
Check out TheStreet's quote page for Research In Motion for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.
is also due to report its numbers with the release of the sneaker giant's fiscal first-quarter results due before the opening bell. The average estimate of analysts polled by
is for a profit of $1.12 a share on revenue of $6.42 billion.
The stock has gained more than 20% over the past year but has lost roughly 16% since hitting a 52-week high of $114.81 on May 3.
Last time around, Nike surprised Wall Street with a rare earnings miss with the weak economic outlook in Europe and slowing growth in China seen as factors so both the bottom-line number and the commentary around this release will be closely watched.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its buy rating and $120 price target on Nike shares on Tuesday, saying it thinks the company is doing well overall in China.
"We continue to believe Nike footwear momentum remains very healthy in China, led by strength in basketball and lightweight running," the firm said. "Store checks indicate strong sell-thru of new product including the Nike Free Run +3 and Nike+ basketball. At retail, Nike's footwear inventory remains clean (primarily products that launched within the last 6 months) with no promotions. Store checks indicate a continued challenging sportswear env't in China as local brands (Li Ning & Anta) remain very promotional and there has been a fashion shift favoring 'casual' apparel (led by Uniqlo, H&M & Zara) over athletic sportswear."
Other companies slated to report on Thursday include
Central European Distribution
Discover Financial Services
McCormick & Co.
Thursday's economic calendar includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET; durable goods orders for August at 8:30 a.m. ET; the third estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET; and pending home sales for August at 10 a.m. ET.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.