Investors who buy mutual funds through banks have put their spring fling with bond funds behind them.
"We had seen much more bond fund activity earlier in the spring," said Allen W. Croessmann, director of investment products and services at BankBoston Corp.
Fund flows through banks, according to bank brokerages and fund companies who sell through them, mirrored overall mutual fund sales trends in general for June. Net new cash flow into stock funds in June was slightly more than $19 billion, about the same as in May.
But bond funds' net new cash flow-meaning new sales minus redemptions and exchanges from one fund to another-fell sharply in June. Net flows into taxable bond funds in June were $3.4 billion, 46% less than in May. And net flows into municipal bond funds fell 72%, to $0.7 billion.
American Century, a Kansas City, Mo., fund company that sells through banks, saw increased interest in bond funds earlier this year, said Spence Fitzgibbons, assistant director of brand management at the company. "In June that was reversed, and we saw a big move into equities," he said.
That shift was probably motivated by good news about corporate earnings, he said.
Cheryl Dalton, senior vice president at Key Investments Inc., the retail brokerage arm of KeyCorp, Cleveland, said 70% of her shop's sales are in equity funds and 30% are bond fund sales.
That represents a five-percentage-point shift away from bond funds in a month, she said.
"More clients have been comfortable going into the equity funds," she said.
Sales at KeyCorp have been especially strong in hybrid funds-those with a mix of stocks and bonds-and growth and income funds, indicating that investors have taken a moderately aggressive stance.
But American Century has seen increasing investor demand for growth funds, Mr. Fitzgibbons said.
Despite their slower sales in June, bond fund net flows for the first half of the year were far ahead of the previous year's.
Taxable bond funds racked up $31.5 billion in net flows through June, compared with $5.6 billion a year earlier, the Investment Company Institute reported.
Municipal bond funds had net flows of $7 billion for the first half, compared with net outflows of $3.6 billion a year earlier.