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Market Keeps Rising, but Who’s Doing All the Buying?
CNBC.com | March 15, 2012 | 02:14 PM EDT

The stock market's direction continues to be aggressively and consistently higher, but it's hard to decipher sometimes who is doing all the buying.

Virtually every metric offered to gauge investor behavior is showing money draining out of the market and insiders skeptical about the future.

From mutual fund flows to insider selling to analyst downgrades and upgrades, pessimism is pouring in faster than a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer tap at a hipster spring break party.

"Why are investors so cautious? Demographics and poor longer-term stock market returns probably play a role," notes Charles Biderman, CEO at the TrimTabs market research firm, in his weekly analysis. "But we also think that all the volatility and central bank interventions in financial markets are leading more investors to question how stable the financial system really is."

Biderman hauls out a variety of data points to show the level of investor caution.

Stock-based mutual funds have lost $1.2 billion since the start of February even though those same funds have returned 9.8 percent in 2012.

Moreover, bond mutual funds have pulled in at least $6 billion for six weeks running, totaling $29.6 billion in the past four weeks, which was 11.8 times as much the $2.5 billion into all equity funds.

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