Investors poured record cash into bonds last week
More money flowed into bond funds last week than at any time in at least seven years, data from the Investment Company Institute released Wednesday showed.
Why it matters: The S&P 500 gained 30% last year and the stock market has delivered strong returns so far in 2020, but investors continue to buy safe-haven bonds and sell stocks.
What's happening: ICI representatives say the move likely represents a rebalancing effort by investors after a strong year in equities, but it follows a year in which data showed investors did exactly the same thing.
- In 2019, ICI reported the largest outflows from equity funds in the history of its data (dating back to 2010), while bond funds saw historic inflows, including an all-time high in municipal bond buying.
- Lipper, which has data going back to 1992 and tracks more than $40 trillion of assets, also reported record outflows from stocks last year.
- Money market funds, which are essentially savings accounts, saw holdings swell to levels last seen in 2009, following the global financial crisis.
What it means: Many have worried the market may be getting overconfident and complacent in the face of good news like the signing of the U.S.-China phase one trade deal and an expected resolution for Brexit.
- However, the numbers show there remains a strong sense of caution running through the market.
Go deeper: The market will need the Fed again in 2020