ETF Demand Up Despite Market Chaos

Despite one of the worst weeks on record for stocks, investors added $2.9 billion to ETFs.

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

You wouldn’t be able to tell that the stock market just had one of its worst days and one of its worst weeks in history based on ETF flows. The S&P 500 collapsed 9.5% on Thursday—its largest decline since 1987 and the fifth-largest single-session decline ever. The index fell a whopping 16.5% in the five sessions through Thursday, and yet, remarkably, U.S.-listed ETFs registered net inflows during that period.

Indeed, $2.9 billion flowed into ETFs during the week, pushing year-to-date inflows up to $89.8 billion, ahead of last year’s $54.7 billion pace at this time.

That suggests that rather than panic, ETF investors are holding firm and, in some cases, adding to their positions amid the market volatility.

US Equities Lead Inflows

Importantly, most of this week’s inflows went into U.S. equity ETFs, where the damage has been severe. The S&P 500 fell as much as 27% below its all-time highs on Thursday. Yet, U.S. equity ETFs had net inflows of $8.5 billion during the week. Low-cost index funds like the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) topped the weekly inflows list.

On the other hand, investors shunned international equity ETFs; about $4.6 billion flowed out of the space. Sentiment on international stocks soured as coronavirus cases in Europe exploded and the Italian economy shut down.

Investors also used the record rally in Treasuries to take money off the table. The 10-year Treasury bond yield dipped to an all-time low of 0.31% on Monday, sending Treasury prices to the stratosphere (bond prices and yields move inversely). But those yields nearly tripled off the lows as investors reasoned that the rally may have extended too far and too fast.

U.S. fixed income ETFs had net outflows of $4.6 billion during the week. The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) was the biggest flows loser in the space. The iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) also had outflows as credit spreads widened significantly and investors fretted about overleveraged companies.

The Federal Reserve meets next week and is expected to cut rates dramatically.

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


Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF2,583.11124,690.742.07%
SHYiShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF2,451.7921,015.9611.67%
BILSPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF1,684.7511,779.7414.30%
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF1,610.29180,571.180.89%
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust1,601.69247,007.860.65%
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETF1,420.58122,487.871.16%
SPTSSPDR Portfolio Short Term Treasury ETF1,275.403,559.9735.83%
SHViShares Short Treasury Bond ETF1,186.6521,651.865.48%
XLEEnergy Select Sector SPDR Fund1,125.487,711.4114.60%
IEIiShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF806.0710,974.207.35%


Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund-2,139.8214,872.31-14.39%
AGGiShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF-1,737.7074,784.81-2.32%
QQQInvesco QQQ Trust-1,452.8280,049.51-1.81%
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF-1,249.4914,173.26-8.82%
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF-1,207.6231,159.16-3.88%
JNKSPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF-900.246,513.56-13.82%
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF-883.3621,471.23-4.11%
EMBiShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF-882.1614,250.55-6.19%
SPTISPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Treasury ETF-748.341,337.71-55.94%
TIPiShares TIPS Bond ETF-632.8821,327.34-2.97%


ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity8,469.572,140,545.840.40%
International Equity-3,090.46744,454.67-0.42%
U.S. Fixed Income-4,618.99802,615.07-0.58%
International Fixed Income-1,658.9592,045.51-1.80%
Commodities ETFs671.5290,956.190.74%
Asset Allocation24.949,318.900.27%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity31,792.622,140,545.841.49%
International Equity7,676.67744,454.671.03%
U.S. Fixed Income34,653.19802,615.074.32%
International Fixed Income3,318.9492,045.513.61%
Commodities ETFs5,952.4090,956.196.54%
Asset Allocation174.559,318.901.87%


Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
HEWUiShares Currency Hedged MSCI United Kingdom ETF15,39179,058513.67%
IGHGProShares Investment Grade-Interest Rate Hedged ETF54,314246,246453.37%
XMPTVanEck Vectors CEF Municipal Income ETF70,567255,449362.00%
HUSVFirst Trust Horizon Managed Volatility Domestic ETF120,989483,137399.32%
NRGZMicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index -2X Inverse Leveraged ETN2931,197408.50%
CVYInvesco Zacks Multi-Asset Income ETF47,586162,189340.83%
DJDInvesco Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF51,515173,865337.51%
FLEEFranklin FTSE Europe ETF55,237125,425227.07%
FXHFirst Trust Health Care AlphaDEX Fund136,240450,462330.64%
FDRRFidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates97,663279,072285.75%


Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

TickerNameWeekly PerformanceWeekly VolumeAUM ($, mm)
EVIXVelocityShares 1X Long VSTOXX Futures ETN32.48%215,1933.74
VXXiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN29.64%293,428,1501,189.15
VIXYProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF29.14%35,594,649294.06
VIIXVelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN28.99%1,272,99148.33
XVZiPath S&P 500 Dynamic VIX ETN25.33%124,3108.46
VXZiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN15.73%1,558,29132.48
VIXMProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF15.03%861,72638.96
UNGUnited States Natural Gas Fund LP9.16%28,608,926405.66
GAZiPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN9.09%12,7612.75
UNLUnited States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund LP 7.66%58,5893.11


Top 10 YTD Performers

TickerNameYTD PerformanceWeekly PerformanceAUM ($, mm)
EVIXVelocityShares 1X Long VSTOXX Futures ETN218.16%32.48%3.74
VIIXVelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN213.94%28.99%48.33
VIXYProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF213.44%29.14%294.06
VXXiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN213.23%29.64%1,189.15
XVZiPath S&P 500 Dynamic VIX ETN83.65%25.33%8.46
VIXMProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF63.41%15.03%38.96
VXZiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN63.39%15.73%32.48
TAILCambria Tail Risk ETF26.88%6.44%106.74
MOMAGFiQ U.S. Market Neutral Momentum Fund24.10%3.81%1.40
ZROZPIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury Index ETF23.96%-6.40%456.22


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.

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays,’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.