US equity mutual funds marked by outflowsNews added by Benefits Pro on July 15, 2014

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By Marlene Y. Satter

Investors pulled out more money than they put into U.S. equity mutual funds for the second month in a row in June, reclaiming $8.3 billion — the most for that category in 18 months.

That’s according to data from Morningstar Inc., which also noted that international is very much in favor at the moment. Investors put enough money into international equity funds and taxable bond funds to more than offset what they’d withdrawn from U.S. equity funds.

International equity funds were by far the most popular category, said Morningstar; they gained $67.5 billion in the first six months of 2014. Meanwhile, taxable bond funds, no slouches themselves, took in $59.2 billion, compared to $21 billion in all of 2013.

U.S. equity funds, in the meantime, have taken in just $9.5 billion so far in 2014.

In aggregate, long-term mutual funds saw inflows of $24 billion in June. That’s driven assets to reach $11.7 trillion, more than 40 percent higher than they were at the market’s top before the financial crisis.

The category winner in June was foreign large-blend funds, which raked in $4.6 billion.

Among bond categories, multi-sector bond funds came out ahead for the month; in second place was intermediate-term bond funds, surprising considering their disfavor among investors in 2013.

Bank-loan funds were not popular in June, seeing outflows for the third straight month. They dropped $3.1 billion for the month.

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