Stock mutual funds lost $5.49 billion for the week ended Wednesday, Dec. 14, according to the latest statistics from the Investment Company Institute. 

As has been the trend for the last seven months, U.S. stock funds experienced the heaviest redemptions, losing $3.98 billion for the week and approximately $139 billion since May 1. Foreign equity funds lost an estimated $1.52 billion for the week. 

Investors instead poured money into bond funds, which had estimated inflows of $5.57 billion for the week, up from $3.53 billion in estimated inflows the week before. Of the $5.57 billion, an estimated $4.70 billion went to taxable bond funds and $868 million to municipal bond funds.

Hybrid funds — those that invest in stocks and fixed income securities — also posted net gains, with estimated inflows of $745 million for the week, compared with estimated inflows of $1.09 billion the week before. 

Overall, for the week ended Dec. 14, investors placed $823 million into long-term mutual funds, reversing a two-week pattern of heavy outflows totaling $12.6 billion. 

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. 

Margarida Correia writes for Bank Investment Consultant.