Investors are again buying U.S. equity mutual funds at high rates as the stock market rebounds after August's decline, fund companies reported Monday.
About $21.2 billion is estimated to have flowed into stock funds this month, which would be the third-highest monthly inflow this year, according to Trim Tabs Financial Services Inc., which tracks industry money flows. The best months were January and July.
Fidelity Investments, the nation's biggest fund group, said net inflows to its domestic-equity funds were the highest this year, totaling more than $2.5 billion.
At the same time, companies such as Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. and Janus Capital Corp. reported a slowdown in net new purchases of low-risk money market funds, a trend offering more evidence that investors are bullish on stocks.
A net $7.28 billion went into fixed-income funds in August, according to the Investment Company Institute. The bond fund inflows were the highest since January 1994, boosted by the conversion of bank trust assets to mutual funds, the ICI said. Flows to fixed-income funds slowed this month, totaling close to $2.1 billion, Trim Tabs reported.
The combined assets of all mutual funds declined $45.02 billion in August to $4.22 trillion because of falling markets in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, the ICI estimated. It will publish its official estimate for September inflows by mid-October.
The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6% this month after falling 5.7% in August.