Stock and bond funds had inflows of $21.5 billion in September, an increase of $8 billion from a month earlier, according to Financial Research Corp. However, money market funds lost $45.9 billion, bringing both long-term and short-term mutual funds a loss of $24.4 billion for the month.

Meanwhile, Lipper also released its analysis of September flows, attributing the runoff in money market fund assets to seasonal factors, including tax-payment cycles and corporations' need for operating liquidity. Nonetheless, Lipper cautioned, investors continue to exercise a cautious stance toward the market, with the latest pace of money being invested in mutual funds below the year's average and the pace of net purchase in 2003.

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