May’s 49 ETF Launches Outpace Closures

May’s 49 ETF Launches Outpace Closures

Fund debuts jump 36% from April while closures were little changed.

Managing Editor
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: James Rubin

ETF launches surged in May, far outpacing closures and topping the previous month’s total, as stock markets rose and investors piled into exchange-traded funds.

Issuers unveiled 49 funds last month, 36% more than the 36 that opened in April, according to data. At the same time, nine funds closed, one more than the previous month.

As markets jump this year, launches are on their way to beating 2023’s total. So far this year, about a month from the year’s midpoint, 253 funds have started, which is on-track to beat the 545 introduced in 2023.

“Strength in the stock market is giving issuers confidence to release new products,” Senior Analyst Sumit Roy said.

The S&P 500, as measured by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), gained 4.9% last month. It has gained 13% so far this year, already ahead of the 10% or so that the index typically returns annually.

ETF closures appear to have slowed as the year has progressed. So far, 98 have closed this year, a roughly similar pace to last year when 246 ETFs shuttered, a three-year high. Closures ran the gamut, from Defiance Israel Fixed Income (CHAI), which closed after less than six months, to Carbon Strategy ETF (KARB), which has fallen in price since mid-2023.

A range of funds were issued last month, from equity to fixed income, to commodities like gold and oil, to leveraged and buffered funds.  

Tripling Previous Month's Inflows

Meanwhile, investors have been pouring money into ETFs, which in the U.S. now hold $9.1 trillion.

Last month, investors added $87.4 billion to the space, nearly triple the previous month's total, as the S&P 500 breached 5,300 for the first time. April flows totaled $31.2 billion.

With five months gone, U.S.-listed ETFs have accumulated a net $317.7 billion in fresh cash, well ahead of last year’s $146.8 billion pace. On a year-to-date basis, U.S. equity ETFs are in the lead with $174.7 billion of inflows, followed by U.S. fixed income ETFs at $68.1 billion and international equity ETFs at $43.3 billion. 

Ron Day is Managing Editor at He joined the company in October 2022 and previously served as editor and deputy managing editor.

Ron covered business and financial news at Bloomberg News for 20 years, working on the breaking news, technology, commodities, headlines and First Word teams. He was previously senior editor at ESG news outlet Karma Impact and filled the same role at Boundless Impact. He also covered a variety of beats at New Jersey daily papers including the Daily Record in Parsippany, the North Jersey Herald & News and the Asbury Park Press. Ron's freelance work has been published in, and

Ron is an advocate and fan of literacy. He hopes to one day master his Telecaster, rather than the other way around. His wonderful family includes a 10-lb. malti-poo named Emmy.