Investors continue to retreat from U.S. stock mutual funds, according to the latest statistics from the Investment Company Institute. For the week ended April 11, investors withdrew an estimated $1.53 billion from mutual funds that invest long-term in U.S. stocks.

Despite the $1.53 billion outflow from U.S. funds, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The outflow was the smallest since early March, and much smaller than last week’s 2012 chart-topper $4.50 billion outflow.

Foreign equity funds posted estimated inflows of $617 million, slightly more than half the $1.22 billion they took in a week earlier.

Investors were much more bullish on bond funds, steering an estimated $4.15 billion their way. The bulk of the inflows — $3.89 billion — went to taxable bond funds with the remaining $267 million going to municipal bond funds.


Hybrid funds — those that invest in both stocks and fixed income securities — posted estimated inflows of $630 million, down significantly from the $1.10 billion inflow the week before and the weakest since early January. 

Overall, mutual funds took in an estimated $3.87 billion in fresh infusions for the week, down 48% from the $7.47 billion inflow a week earlier.

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.