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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors poured $33 billion into U.S.-based money market funds during the week ended Nov. 29, the largest inflows of 2017, Lipper data showed on Thursday, in a sign that investors might be sensing an end to the equity market’s marathon rally.
U.S.-based taxable bond funds attracted $1.56 billion of inflows in the week ended Nov. 29, the group’s second consecutive week of inflows, Lipper said.
“Investors seemed concerned over another missile test by North Korea and despite some handsome economic releases, investors are becoming more and more convinced that the equity market is getting a little long in the tooth and is prime for some sort of correction,” said Tom Roseen, head of research services at Thomson Reuters Lipper.
North Korea on Wednesday fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that initial estimates showed could have achieved the highest altitude reached by the country’s missile program.
“The earnings reports have been very good, so there are some folks out there that think this rally can continue at least through the end of the year,” Roseen added. “While economics have been good, the relatively strong Q3 earnings reports and anticipation of the tax bill being passed is driving the market now.”
Fast-money traders and big institutional players including hedge funds poured $5.7 billion into U.S.-based equity exchange-traded funds in the week ended November 29, their ninth consecutive week of inflow, Lipper said.
Conversely, longer-term retail investors yanked $3.24 billion from U.S.-based stock mutual funds during the same period, extending the weekly withdrawals the markets have been witnessing throughout 2017.
For their part, U.S.-based European equity funds attracted $47 million in the week ended November 29, the sector’s fourth consecutive week of inflows, Lipper said. U.S.-based emerging market equity funds posted inflows of $615 million in the latest week, after outflows of $68 million the previous week. And emerging market debt funds posted inflows of $150 million in the week ended November 29, their second straight week of inflows, according to Lipper data.
Overall, U.S.-based domestic equities funds attracted $325 million of inflows, their second week of inflows. U.S.-based non-domestic equities funds posted inflows of $2.12 billion in the week ended November 29, their 11th consecutive week of inflows, Lipper said.
Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Dan Grebler and Andrew Hay