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Redemptions Subside, Net Flows Rise

Stock mutual funds saw $19.3 billion in net new cash flows during April, a turnaround from March's record decline in net flows, according to data released last week by the Investment Company Institute.

Roughly $83.5 billion in new stock fund sales were recorded in April - a slight decline from March's figure of $84.3 billion, but it was the decline in redemptions that helped produce the positive flows, according to the ICI.

In March, a record $20.6 billion flowed out of stock mutual funds, the largest number for one month on record. Sales for that month could not offset redemptions, which totaled around $93.6 billion, according to the ICI. Redemptions in April were roughly two- thirds of that number, at just less than $67 billion.

Some analysts attributed the slight rebound at least in part to a renewed faith in equity markets. The S&P was up 7.76 percent in April and the Nasdaq was up 15 percent during the month, said Whitney Dow, an analyst at Financial Research Corporation of Boston.

"Nearly every conceivable index was positive in the month of April," Dow said. "If there were investors who were sitting on the sideline, that performance might have encouraged them to get back in the market or, naturally, to stay in the market."

March is also historically a difficult month for mutual funds partly because it is widely held that some investors cash out to pay taxes, which may explain why redemptions dropped significantly between March and April, he said. Taxable bond funds saw $2.5 billion in net new cash flows for April, down from March's figure of $6.8 billion.