Investors pulled nearly $79 billion from U.S. stock funds during the first seven month of this year, more than in any previous year including the height of the financial crisis, Morningstar Inc. said on Friday.
"The consensus is that the United States is in the late stages of its bull market," Morningstar analysts said.
By contrast, investors continued to pump money into international stock funds with net inflows totaling $179.3 billion through the end of July, Morningstar said.
The international benchmark MSCI EAFE Index returned 7.7 percent during the first seven months of 2015, compared with the S&P 500 Index's 3.4 percent return during the same period.
"Looking back at annual flows reveals that investors' confidence in the United States may be even shakier than recent data indicates," Morningstar said in its latest monthly report on mutual fund flows.
In July alone, estimated net withdrawals from U.S. stock funds increased to $14.3 billion, from $8 billion in June, Morningstar said.
Some of the outflows, particularly in the case of Fidelity Investments, were related to a shift in assets to collective investment trusts, Morningstar said.
Proponents of the trusts say these investment vehicles can offer lower expenses to investors because they face less regulation than mutual funds.
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