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Martket Savvy

Stock-Fund Inflows Continue Slowdown

July 31, 1998| Times Wire Services

U.S. mutual fund investors have reduced their purchases of stock funds in July amid concern the longest-running U.S. bull market may be losing steam, industry executives said.

The reductions follow a slowdown in stock fund inflows in June as well.

"The fund flows really slowed in the second half of [July] as the market churned," said Ralph Greggs, senior vice president of Boston-based New England Funds.

Trim Tabs Financial Services Inc., a research firm that tracks fund flows, estimates that a net $16.5 billion was invested in equity funds in July. That would be down 14% from June, when a net $19.2 billion went into stock funds, according to Investment Company Institute data reported Thursday.

If the July estimate is accurate it would be the weakest month for stock fund inflows since January--when Asian markets crumbled.

"The money going into stock funds is still massive by historical standards, but there has been a slowdown from the recent record pace because of concerns about the declining stock market," said Carl Wittnebert, Trim Tabs' director of research.

Meanwhile, investors also sent less new money to bond funds in June, the ICI said: Taxable and tax-free bond funds attracted $4.1 billion in the month, the smallest inflow since January. But some fund companies say bond fund purchases have risen this month.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Slower Flows

Stock and bond mutual fund inflows have weakened from their spring pace. Monthly net cash inflows, in billions:

Stock funds

June: $19.2

Bond funds

June: $4.1

Source: Investment Company Institute

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