February 5, 2020 / 7:05 PM / in 2 months

Investors extend longest retreat from U.S. stock funds since 2016

A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors pulled nearly $12.6 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold U.S. stocks last week, extending the longest retreat from the U.S. stock market since 2016, according to data released Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

The outflows came during a week in which fears of the coronavirus outbreak in China led to the biggest declines in benchmark equity indexes in four months despite stronger than expected earnings from tech giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O). Investors have pulled nearly $34 billion out of U.S. stock funds since the beginning of the year, while the benchmark S&P 500 index is up roughly 3% over the same time.

Bond funds brought in $13.4 billion in new assets, pushing the year to date gains for the category to nearly $72.2 billion. World stock funds, meanwhile, gained $3.4 billion in inflows, extending a winning streak that has now lasted 7 weeks.

Reporting by David Randall

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