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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors edged into the U.S. stock market last week, as the benchmark S&P 500 index hovered near record highs, by adding $1.1 billion into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold domestic stocks, according to data released Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

The $1.1 billion was the lowest weekly amount of positive inflows since late February and was less than half the roughly $2.4 billion investors sent into U.S. stocks the week before.

For the year to date, investors have pulled nearly $58 billion out of domestic stock funds even as the S&P 500 continues to hit record peaks. The benchmark index is up nearly 20% since the beginning of the year, thanks in part to expectations of at least one equity-friendly interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve this year.

Instead, investors continued to rush into bonds by sending $11.1 billion into taxable and municipal debt funds. That continued a streak of positive inflows over every full week for the year to date which has garnered nearly $245 billion into the category.

World stock funds, meanwhile, continued to leak assets by losing $1.8 billion in outflows, extending an 8-week losing streak. Over the year to date, world stock funds have dropped $19.5 billion in outflows.

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Bernadette Baum



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