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Investors' rush into stocks slows

February 21, 2013: 2:06 PM ET
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U.S. stock mutual funds lured in just $509 million during the week ended Feb. 13. While that marks the sixth straight week of inflows, its the smallest amount of the year.

Investors have been adding money to the U.S. stock market since the beginning of the year, but the pace of inflows has slowed considerably.

U.S. stock mutual funds lured in just $509 million during the week ended Feb. 13, according to data from the Investment Company Institute. While that marks the sixth straight week of inflows, it's the smallest of the year. During the first four weeks of 2013, investors plowed several billions of dollar into U.S. stock mutual funds on a weekly basis. Altogether, more than $18 billion has flowed in, according to ICI.

The inflows represent a significant departure from the recent trend of investors fleeing the stock market, but are still just a drop in the bucket when you consider that investors yanked more than $150 billion from U.S. stocks during each of the last three years.

Related: Bonds are riskier than stocks

U.S. stocks have been rising since the start of the year, with the Dow and S&P 500 up more than 5%, but the rally has lost steam in recent weeks as investors take a pause.

CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index which had been steeped in extreme greed for the early part of the year, has been ticking back and is now just in greed mode. The VIX, also known as the market's fear gauge, has spiked 22% over the past five days.

Meanwhile, investors are continuing to add billions of dollars to the bond market each week , despite growing worries of a bond bubble. During the latest week, they added nearly $5 billion to bond mutual funds, according to ICI data. That brings the year's total inflow into bonds to nearly $43 billion. In 2012, investors flooded bond funds with more than $300 billion.

Hybrid funds, which invest in both stocks and bonds, remain in favor among investors, attracting more than $2 billion in the latest week.

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