Feb. 26, 2003 — Investors returned to stock mutual funds last month while their love affair with bonds continued.

Domestic stock funds took in an $1.4 billion in January, after suffering outflows of $4.2 billion the previous month, according to Financial Research Corp. Overall, stock and bond funds netted $14.5 billion last month, led by funds that invest in corporate bonds, which attracted $6.8 billion.

American Funds took in $3.8 billion last month, making it the the top selling complex. The company’s Growth Fund of America/A (AGTHX), a domestic stock fund, was the second best selling fund in January, netting $748 million, while its Capital Income Builder Fund/A (CAIBX), which invests in foreign stocks, ranked fifth with inflows of $648 million.

Pacific Management Investment Co., known as PIMCO, trailed American funds with monthly inflows of $3.3 billion. The company’s PIMCO Funds:Total Return Fund/A (PTTAX), which buys fixed-income securities, was the best selling fund, attracting $2.1 billion.

Rounding out the top five best selling fund companies were Vanguard Group, which saw inflows of $2.6 billion; Dodge & Cox ($1.1 billion); and Evergreen Investments ($981 million).

The third and fourth best selling funds for the month were ING Principal Protection Fund/A (NPPAX), which took in $662 million, and Evergreen Adjustable Rate/A (ESAAX), which attracted $661 million.