Mutual funds closed 2012 on a decidedly sour note, according to the latest statistics from the Investment Company Institute. For the week ended Jan. 2, 2013, investors pulled an estimated $6.44 billion from funds that invest in long-term instruments, the second largest outflow in 2012. The largest outflow occurred three weeks earlier when investors yanked $6.57 billion from mutual funds.

Outflows from U.S. stock funds caused the greatest damage in the closing days of 2012. For the week ended Jan. 2, investors withdrew an estimated $8.29 billion from funds that invest long-term in U.S. equities, more than double the $3.87 billion they pulled a week earlier.

Non-U.S. stock funds also took a hit, losing an estimated $1.21 billion for the week, reversing the previous week’s $81 million inflow.

Hybrid funds, which invest in both equity and bond securities, endured less of a blow, ending the week with a relatively mild $152 million in estimated outflows.

Bond funds once again helped stanch the bleeding, attracting $3.21 billion in estimated inflows. Of the $3.21 billion, $2.92 billion went to taxable bond funds with the remaining $291 million going to municipal bond funds.

The weekly fund flow estimates are derived from data covering more than 95% of industry assets, according to ICI.  The statistics cover long-term mutual funds, those the ICI defines as investing in long-term instruments.

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