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Cash Pulled From Stock Funds for 19th Straight Week

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investors withdrew money from stock mutual funds for the 19th consecutive week during the period ended Nov. 28, but at a slower pace than earlier in the month. Bond funds continued to attract new money, as they have on all but one week this year.

The movement of cash was in line with the conservative approach that many investors have taken since the financial crisis of 2008. Money has consistently been withdrawn from stock mutual funds and added to lower-risk bond funds.

Investors withdrew a net $481 million from U.S. stock funds, the Investment Company Institute said in a preliminary report Wednesday. That was down from net withdrawals of $7.5 billion for the period ended Nov. 20, and $6.63 billion in the previous week. Withdrawals have exceeded deposits for 19 weeks in a row, dating to July 18.

Cash was pulled out during the latest week as the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose 1.6 percent. The gain came as investors watched developments from Washington in budget talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit.

The ICI said a net $15 million was withdrawn during the week ended Nov. 28 from funds investing primarily in foreign stocks. Cash has been pulled out of foreign stock funds for 18 of the past 19 weeks, dating to mid-July.

Investors deposited a net $4.4 billion into bond funds, which have attracted new cash in all but one week so far this year. The latest week's total was largely unchanged from the total during the previous week.

Most of last week's bond fund total was from cash flowing into taxable bond funds, which primarily invest in corporate bonds. Those funds attracted $3.1 billion in new cash. Municipal bond funds took in a net $1.3 billion. Those funds invest in bonds issued by state and local governments.

A net $143 million was deposited into hybrid funds, which invest in both stocks and bonds.

Overall investors deposited a net $4.09 billion into long-term mutual funds of all types during the week, compared with net withdrawals of $5.57 billion in the previous week.

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