Americans are still skittish about investing, according to a national monthly index that measures investors' intentions. The American Capital Index of Investor Intentions fell to 220 for September, from 227 in August, the third straight monthly decline.

The index is a national survey that measures the investment climate and what people say they plan to do with their money within the next 60 to 90 days.

Despite the uncertainty, "the public continues to see investing opportunities" particularly in mutual funds, said Donald A. McCullen, president of American Capital Management & Research in Houston, which sponsors the survey.

Asked how they would invest $10,000, 30% of survey respondents said they would put their money in savings accounts, up from 29% in August. Those choosing mutual funds rose to 22% from 20% in the previous month. Among those selecting mutual funds, 44.3% chose stock funds, versus 48.5% in August, and 23.3% chose bond funds, up from 17% in the previous month. About 19% of the respondents said they would add money to their mutual funds.

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