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Stock mutual funds in the U.S. had the biggest withdrawals in more than a year as investors accelerated their flight to the perceived safety of bonds even as equities rallied.

Domestic stock funds had redemptions of $10.6 billion and those buying non-U.S. equities lost $483 million to withdrawals in the week ended Oct. 3, the most since Aug. 10, 2011, according to the Washington-based Investment Company Institute. Investors added $10.9 billion to fixed-income funds in the week, the ICI said Wednesday. ICI’s weekly estimates do not include data for exchange-traded funds.

“It is possible as the quarter came to an end, some investors may have been rebalancing their portfolios,” said Geoff Bobroff, a mutual-fund consultant based in Rhode Island.

Investors have pulled money from funds that invest in domestic stocks every year since 2007, while putting money into bond funds. Investors pulled $38 billion from stock funds in the first eight months of 2012, Morningstar data show. They added $204 billion to bond funds over the same period.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 1.2 percent in the week ended Oct. 3 and has gained 14 percent this year.

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