Investors Add $5B To ETFs Despite Volatility Surge

August 11, 2017

A sudden spike in stock market volatility didn't faze investors this week, at least judging by the latest flows into ETFs. According to FactSet, investors added $5 billion to U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds during the week ending Thursday, Aug. 10.

The period includes Thursday, when the S&P 500 dropped 1.5% and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped to its highest level of the year above 16, as geopolitical tensions flared between the U.S. and North Korea.

Most asset classes had inflows. U.S equity ETFs took in $1.7 billion; international equity ETFs took in $1.9 billion; U.S. fixed-income ETFs took in $1.1 billion; and international fixed-income ETFs took in almost $200 million.

Year-to-date, net inflows for U.S.-listed ETFs now stand at $285.1 billion, just a hair below 2016's annual record of $287.5 billion.

Bargain Buying In 'SVXY'
The inflows list was chock full of the usual suspects―broad, low-cost index ETFs like the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

Standing out like a sore thumb on the list was the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY). Its inflows of about $350 million were enough to put the fund at No. 5 on the list, and suggests that traders were using the VIX spike as an opportunity to bet against volatility.

Indeed, shorting volatility has been one of the best trades of the year, returning more than 55%, even accounting for the recent surge in the VIX. 

No Love For Safe-Haven ETFs
Meanwhile, on the outflows list, the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) took the top spot, with redemptions of $520 million.

Surprisingly, a number of ETFs tied to what are traditionally considered safe-haven areas of the market also saw selling. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP) had outflows of around $470 million, while the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) had outflows of $250 million.

At the same time, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) had outflows of just under $200 million apiece, even as gold prices rallied to two-month highs around $1,300/oz this week. 

For a full list of this week's top inflows and outflows, see the tables below:

 

Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
DIA SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust 981.89 17,766.93 5.85%
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust 687.48 241,320.74 0.29%
XLI Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund 619.22 11,883.22 5.50%
VEU Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF 468.72 20,180.99 2.38%
SVXY ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF 354.98 727.31 95.34%
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF 297.40 59,588.53 0.50%
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF 284.95 60,565.07 0.47%
AGG iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF 273.79 48,932.29 0.56%
VCSH Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF 256.33 20,424.11 1.27%
XLV Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund 234.79 17,880.23 1.33%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
JNK SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF -519.64 11,982.81 -4.16%
XLP Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund -470.86 8,492.34 -5.25%
IWD iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF -286.70 36,733.03 -0.77%
MDY SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust -270.47 18,499.74 -1.44%
XLE Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund -260.84 15,123.31 -1.70%
TLT iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF -249.91 6,814.17 -3.54%
EWG iShares MSCI Germany ETF -213.52 4,906.22 -4.17%
GLD SPDR Gold Trust -192.89 31,918.96 -0.60%
GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF -192.01 7,048.53 -2.65%
EZU iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF -183.56 13,669.92 -1.33%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 1,683.82 1,699,720.27 0.10%
International Equity 1,875.08 708,823.40 0.26%
U.S. Fixed Income 1,141.24 492,715.78 0.23%
International Fixed Income 173.36 52,998.17 0.33%
Commodities -240.22 61,367.27 -0.39%
Currency -17.53 1,405.20 -1.25%
Leveraged -313.16 28,428.10 -1.10%
Inverse 578.58 16,839.27 3.44%
Asset Allocation -39.33 7,418.99 -0.53%
Alternatives 196.74 4,178.37 4.71%
Total: 5,038.59 3,073,894.82 0.16%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

Ticker Name Average Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
Volume
% of Average
MDYV SPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Value ETF 51,042 285,032 558.43%
HFXE IQ 50 Percent Hedged FTSE Europe ETF 34,394 159,072 462.49%
MDYG SPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Growth ETF 36,780 159,408 433.41%
HYZD WisdomTree Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond Fund 33,364 136,506 409.14%
AFK VanEck Vectors Africa Index ETF 13,288 49,279 370.85%
SLYG SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap Growth ETF 22,571 65,124 288.53%
SLYV SPDR S&P 600 Small Cap Value ETF 45,275 115,031 254.07%
BBRC Columbia Beyond BRICs ETF 5,524 13,982 253.09%
AOA iShares Core Aggressive Allocation ETF 55,287 138,789 251.03%
CSML IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF 81,994 171,182 208.77%

 

Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

 

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