Investors started off the New Year on sour note as they resumed pulling their money out of stock funds. TrimTabs Investment Research said investors pulled $10.31 billion out of all equity mutual funds, net of new purchases, during the week ended Wednesday. That more than reversed the $6.99 billion of net new purchases they made the previous week. Equity funds that invest primarily in U.S. stocks saw a net $9.6 billion walk out the door, after pulling in a net $5.25 billion the previous week. Equity funds that invest primarily in non-U.S. stocks posted an outflow of $728 million compared with an inflow of $1.73 billion during the previous week. TrimTabs CEO Charles Biderman said many investors are taking their money out of equity funds and putting it into commodities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,043.96 on Wednesday, down 3.7% from 13,551.69 on Dec. 26. "Flow follows performance," he said. "It goes out from areas performing horribly to areas that performing better." But investors added a net $9.9 billion to exchange-traded funds that invest in U.S. stocks, although that was less than half the $24.09 billion they added the previous week. ETFs that invest in non-U.S. stocks took in a net $1.31 billion, up from $958 million the previous week.
Investors added $2.52 billion to bond funds, after pulling out $1.30 billion the previous week. Hybrid funds, which invest in a mix of stock and bonds, took in a net $1.08 billion, after losing $856 million the previous week.