Investors seemingly started the second quarter with a bang as they plowed $2.9 billion into equity funds for the week ending July 7, but fund-tracking experts say automatic investing may have contributed to the spike in inflows. According to TrimTabs, U.S. funds saw inflows of $2.5 billion, and international equity funds took in $400 million for the holiday-shortened week, totaling $2.9 billion, up from $2.3 billion the prior week. Rival fund-tracking firm AMG Data reported global equity fund inflows of $2.45 billion for the same period, with $1.86 billion going to U.S. stock funds. "Recent equity inflows have likely been inflated by automatic investing at the beginning of the quarter," says Carl Wittnebert, TrimTabs director of research. "Fund investors do not buy when the market is falling." The two tracking firms, however, were split on the direction of bond fund flows. TrimTans reported outflows of $300 million -- down from $1.3 billion the prior week -- while AMG said taxable bond funds reported net cash inflows of $956 million. AMG said a total of 82% of the bond fund inflows went to corporate bond funds. About $440 million flowed to high yield and $345 million to investment grade funds. Municipal bond funds, however, reported net cash outflows for the period totaling $110 million. Money market funds reported inflows of $13 billion with 84%, or $11 billion, going to tax-exempt money market funds. AMG says that is the largest inflow to the tax-exempt sector since January 2003.