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Data: Investment Company Institute; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

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

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.