Money market mutual fund assets rose by a whopping $23.1 billion, or 3%, in the week ending Jan. 11, lifting the total to $787.1 billion.

Money market funds for retail investors picked up $14.06 billion of the gain, a record one-week inflow for these portfolios, said the Investment Company Institute, which tracks the data. Assets in these funds jumped to $547.78 billion. Institutional assets rose $9.04 billion, to $239.32 billion.

A spokeswoman for the institute said the inflows fit a seasonal pattern. "History shows that money markets have significant inflows for the first two weeks of the year," she explained. "You have a lot of yearend money being paid out - bond interest, dividends, capital gains - and people park that." The blizzard that struck the East Coast last week was also a factor, slowing down the movement of money.

Last week's inflow, while extremely large, fell short of the record of $38 billion set in early January 1992.

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