(Bloomberg) — U.S. stock funds enjoyed their largest inflows in nine weeks, according to Bank of America strategists, as strong central bank support means there’s no alternative to equities to generate returns.
U.S. equity funds attracted $12.8 billion in the seven days ending Aug. 18, Bofa said in a note, citing EPFR Global data. Worldwide, investors poured $23.9 billion into equities in the period, and pulled $4.5 billion from cash funds, the first outflow in five weeks.
The BofA data, which was collected before the Federal Reserve indicated it could potentially start to taper stimulus this year, indicate investors still have enough confidence in policy support to buy the dips, according to the strategists.
“Investors have zero fear of central banks,” they wrote. “Global central banks have spent $834 million every hour buying bonds since Covid, U.S. government spending $875 million every hour in 2021. Little wonder everyone believes in TINA (there is no alternative) & BTD (buy the dip).”
While risks to the global economic recovery are mounting, money managers in search of returns are sticking to equities. As stocks come off record highs, some markets are faring better than others. Those in China are taking the biggest hit as Beijing widens its regulatory crackdown, with the impact spreading to European luxury shares this week.
U.S. large caps were in vogue, receiving $14 billion of inflows in the week, while investors pulled money out of U.S. small-caps and growth stocks.
Bond funds were also in favor, receiving $12.6 billion. Of those, investment-grade bond funds netted the largest amount, $7.8 billion. High-yield and emerging-market debt also had inflows.
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