Investors continue streak of moving away from U.S. equity funds

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York City

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. investors took $4.38 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that focus on domestic equities in the week that ended June 28, the second straight week of outflows as U.S. stock indices remained near record highs, Investment Company Institute data showed on Wednesday.

At the same time, investors moved $6.74 billion into international equity funds, a slight decline from the $8.56 billion invested in the category the week before. U.S. bond funds took in $5.38 billion, continuing an unbroken streak of positive weekly inflows for the year to date.

U.S. stocks “are not unduly expensive, but there are better values to be found elsewhere,” said Alan Gayle, head of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Investments, which has $40.2 billion in assets under management.

The benchmark S&P 500 index trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.4, according to Thomson Reuters data, near the high end of its historical range, and investors have questioned whether the Trump Administration will be able to deliver on its promise of tax cuts and infrastructure spending that helped boost stocks in the wake of the U.S. presidential election in November.

The move away from U.S. stocks continues a year-long trend in which investors continue to favor bonds over domestic equities. Overall, investors pulled $12.4 billion out of U.S. stock and ETF equity funds between January and the end of May, according to Investment Company Institute data. Bond funds, meanwhile, saw $170.16 billion in inflows over the same time period.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and David Gregorio)