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Investors end 14-week stock exodus

June 6, 2012: 3:45 PM ET

In an unexpected twist, investors added money to U.S. stocks during the final week of May, even as the market closed out one of the its worst months in years.

According to the Investment Company Institute, investors added $807 million to U.S. stock mutual funds in the week ended May 30. While that's not much at all, the sudden move ends a 14-week-long exodus out of stocks. In fact, the inflows follow a week when investors yanked $7.2 billion out of U.S. stocks, the second biggest weekly outflow of the year.

While investors showed a little love for stocks last week, they haven't been big fans for the better part of 2012. Since the beginning of the year, investors have pulled nearly $45 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.

Meanwhile, even as bond prices rallied, pushing yields to record lows, investors pulled $317 million out of bond funds during the last week of May, marking the first weekly outflow since early October.

Related: Dow, Nasdaq: Worst month in two years

Are investors just so sick of low yields that stocks are starting to look good again? Only time will tell whether this latest sea change is a blip or the start of a new trend. But given that Europe's debt crisis is still going strong, and the growth in China and the U.S. is slowing, I wouldn't bet on a sustained turnaround.

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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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