As Wall Street tries to make sense of sharp down and up moves in the stock market, investors were found signaling apprehension toward risk-on assets including stocks.
According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research on Friday, Feb. 9, it's "not surprising" that more stock investors jumped ship last week than in nearly a decade.
For the week ended Feb. 7, stocks reported an outflow totaling $29.54 billion, which is the largest outflow on record going back to 2008, BofA wrote.
But it's important to note that the record outflows followed "four consecutive weeks of strong and steady inflows, totaling $62 billion, including $16.94 billion the week before," the analysts pointed out.
The outflows of the past week were undeniably large, but they only cut about half of the cumulative inflow from the previous four-week period.
According to BofA data, risky asset classes including high-yield and hard currency emerging markets bonds along with asset classes with duration exposure reported broadest outflows.
Inflows increased in short-term high grade and government bonds. For high grade, inflows accelerated in the last week to $5.28 billion from $4.82 billion. "Supporting the increase was a $2.15 billion inflow to short-term high grade - the highest since March 2013 - and up from a $690 million inflow the prior week," analysts added.
Inflows to high grade exchange-traded funds fell to $740 million last week from $2.14 billion, BofA found.