Investors stage largest two-week retreat from U.S. stocks since July

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors pulled nearly net $7.5 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold U.S. stocks last week, capping the largest two-week retreat from the domestic stock market since July 2018, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) near the close of market in New York, U.S., October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The move away from the U.S. stock market came as the benchmark S&P 500 index finished its strongest first quarter of the year since 1998, according to Refinitiv data. For the year to date, the S&P 500 is up nearly 15.5% thanks to a combination of optimism for a trade breakthrough between the United States and China and the Federal Reserve’s decision to pause its series of interest rate hikes.

Despite that rally, investors have pulled a net of approximately $17.6 billion in assets out of U.S. stock funds over the 13 full weeks of this year, according to ICI data.

World stock funds, meanwhile, lost a net $31 million in assets, continuing a seven-week pullback on the part of investors. For the year to date,


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