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MUTUAL FUNDS INVESTMENTS EASE

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Individual investors purchased about $3.63 billion worth of U.S. stock mutual funds in the week ended Wednesday, according to a report from AMG Data Services, a research group in Arcata, Calif., that tracks money flows.

That's about 15 percent less than what was invested in stock funds in the prior week but provides more evidence that investors still find equities to be an attractive investment, AMG reported."Investors are buying the most aggressive types of stock funds again after backing away from them in July when the markets stumbled," said Charles Biderman, president of Trim Tabs Financial Services Inc., an investment advisory firm in Santa Rosa, Calif.

About $680 million was invested in "aggressive growth" stock funds in the latest week, the second-highest weekly inflow in two months, AMG reported. And so-called "emerging" growth stock funds attracted more than $915 million, excluding reinvested dividends, the research group said.

International stock funds weren't as popular, with about $370 million flowing into funds that invest most of their assets outside the United States, AMG reported.

Meantime, investors added a net $145 million to taxable bond funds in the week ended Wednesday, according to AMG.

About $100 million was removed from government bond funds in the latest week, marking the eighth straight week that money left these funds, AMG reported.