Junk Back In Favor
As noted, HYG was No. 2 on the February inflows list, with creations totaling almost $2.4 billion. Total assets in the fund reached almost $18 billion.
Additionally, the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK | B-68), the ETF market's second-biggest junk bond fund, gathered almost $1.25 billion in fresh assets, lifting total assets in the fund to about $11.75 billion.
As noted above, the high-yield market finished 2014 heavily out of favor, in part because of concerns oil drillers taking part in the fracking revolution had issued high-yield debt to ramp up output. The problem was that all the extra oil on the market began to hit prices, in turn affecting the capacity of such firms to service their debt.
But investors in full command of just what the diversity of indexes underlying broad funds like HYG and JNK means, understood that problems in the oil patch were at most a peripheral concern to such funds. Moreover, in the worst-case scenario, were a given fracking firm's credits to default, they would quickly be kicked out of a broad bond index.
In that light, value-hunters who bought beaten-down shares of HYG or JNK last month probably made shrewd moves.
February 2015 Biggest Losers
|Ticker||Fund||Issuer||Flows||AUM ($, M)||Turnover|
|IYW||iShares U.S. Technology||BlackRock||-1,562.95||3,082.21||2,286.82|
|IWM||iShares Russell 2000||BlackRock||-1,142.82||28,176.54||63,776.82|
|IYR||iShares U.S. Real Estate||BlackRock||-939.38||5,437.44||18,731.46|
|VEA||Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets||Vanguard||-730.20||25,356.40||5,280.08|
|IYF||iShares U.S. Financials||BlackRock||-661.67||1,331.45||1,196.55|
|VIG||Vanguard Dividend Appreciation||Vanguard||-577.66||21,176.17||1,777.70|
|FXU||First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX||First Trust||-491.88||307.73||632.12|
|FXL||First Trust Technology AlphaDEX||First Trust||-467.94||678.14||654.36|
|IVV||iShares Core S&P 500||BlackRock||-466.21||70,378.78||16,457.48|
|XLK||Technology Select SPDR||SSgA||-458.99||13,260.53||5,383.01|