Market Extra: Fund investors flee stocks for bonds even as equities have best quarter in years

Investors around the globe withdrew money from equity funds in the week ended March 20, continuing a trend that has colored stock markets since the start of the year, even as major benchmarks have rallied aggressively, according to data from EPFR Global and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

There’s “simply no love for stocks” in today’s environment among mutual fund and ETF investors, Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a note to clients.

In contrast, such investors are showing a “need for yield” that has led to inflows of more than $10 billion corporate debt, “a big contrast to outflows of $13.2 billion from U.S.

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