Investors continue to turn their back on U.S. stock mutual funds, according to statistics released today from the Investment Company Institute. For the week ended April 4, investors pulled an estimated $4.27 billion from mutual funds that invest long-term in U.S. stocks, the largest weekly outflow so far this year. Since January, investors have yanked more than $19 billion from U.S. stock funds.

Investors showed greater confidence in foreign equity funds, sending an estimated $1.22 billion their way, according to the latest weekly stats.

The biggest winners, as usual, were bond funds, which raked in an estimated $9.66 billion for the week, up 58% from the $6.12 billion infusion they received a week earlier.  Of the $9.66 billion, $9.09 billion went to taxable bond funds with the remaining $572 million going to municipal bond funds.

Hybrid funds — those that invest in both stocks and fixed-income securities — posted estimated inflows of $1.10 billion, down 34% from the $1.65 billion inflow the week before.

Overall, mutual funds gained an estimated $7.71 billion in fresh infusions for the week, more than twice the $3.31 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.