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U.S. investors continue to flee stocks -- 14 weeks of outflows

May 31, 2012: 3:05 PM ET

Investors continued to pull their cash out of U.S. stocks last week as worries about the health of Spanish banks added to broader concerns about Europe's ongoing debt crisis.

U.S. stock mutual funds lost $7.2 billion in the week ended May 23, according to the Investment Company Institute, marking the 14th straight week that investors yanked money out, as well as the second biggest weekly outflow of the year. The biggest weekly outflow was $8.7 billion during a week in April.

The losses come as investor fear has intensified. According to CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index, investor sentiment has been at an "extreme fear" level for the past two weeks.

In addition to jitters over Europe, investors were also rattled after Facebook's highly anticipated IPO was botched by trading delays at the Nasdaq. Shares of Facebook (FB) are down nearly 30% from the IPO price 0f $38, trading at around just $27 apiece, which is even below Facebook's original IPO price range of $28-$35 a share.

Meanwhile, bond funds raked in assets for the 33rd consecutive week, but attracted just $2.8 billion, the least since the first week of January.

Since the beginning of the year, investors have pulled nearly $46 billion from U.S. stock mutual funds. By comparison, the funds brought in $6.4 billion during the first five months of 2011, and lost just $18 billion during the first five months of 2010.

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Hibah Yousuf
Hibah Yousuf
Reporter, CNNMoney

Hibah Yousuf is a reporter at CNNMoney, where she covers stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies trading across the globe, as well as corporate earnings and other markets-related news. Prior to joining the site in 2009, she interned at Money Magazine.

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