Investors Cool to Equity Funds

Mutual fund investors shied away from equities but gave bonds another chance in the past week, according to a major fund tracking firm.

AMG Data Services Friday reported net equity outflows totaling $170 million in the week ended July 14.

Taxable bond funds, however, haled their recent slump, registering $382 in net inflows, led by high-yield corporate bond funds.

The return to bond mirrors the recent recovery in U.S. credit markets following a spate of weak economic reports in the wake of the Fed's decision to raise short-term interest rates a quarter of one percentage point June 30. Stocks, however, have entered a new period of weakness in the past two weeks with the major indices approaching their 2004 lows set in March.

International funds as well as aggressive-growth ones have experienced the biggest gains.

In the prior week, taxable bond funds reported net cash inflows of $956 million, while equity funds added $2.45 billion during the first week of July -- a surge analysts attributed largely to automatic investing at the beginning of the quarter.

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