Mutual funds, pensions and trusts sold $1.8 billion of U.S. consumer stocks in August, the biggest amount in 14 years, Bloomberg reports. The category includes department stores, distillers and hotels.
These stocks have more than doubled in value since March, and institutional investors evidently fear they may be overvalued since consumer spending is still very weak.
“There’s concern by consumers about everything, not only future employment but also the value of their house and their retirement plans,” said Randy Bateman, chief investment officer of the asset management division at Huntington Bancshares. “Whenever you have a question mark with regard to their ability to spend, you’re going to have a drawback in those stocks.”