BANKING & FINANCE

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Assets in Money Market Funds Drop: Assets of the nation's 585 money market mutual funds plunged by a record $21.28 billion in the latest week as investors pulled their money to join the year-end stock rally, the Investment Company Institute said. The mammoth decline, to $457.76 billion in the seven-day period ended Tuesday, followed a $6.14-billion drop the previous week, the trade group said. The latest plunge dwarfed the previous record of $8.89 billion in the week ended Dec. 22, 1982. Sharp declines are common at year's end, in part because investors use some of the money in their funds to pay Christmas bills. But the massive $27.42-billion drop of the past two weeks was unprecedented.

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