U.S. equity funds had $24 billion of outflows in the week to Feb. 5. Withdrawals from stock funds worldwide totaled $28.3 billion. Money managers plowed $13 billion into U.S. bond funds, accounting for most of the $14.8 billion that flowed into debt worldwide. All the figures for the period are record highs.
Bonds beat stocks last month for the first time since August as a slowdown in U.S. jobs growth and turmoil in emerging markets from China to Argentina drove demand for the safest securities. The Federal Reserve’s decision to taper its bond purchases in January and again in February did more to temper the appeal of high-risk assets than reduce demand for U.S. debt.