ETF Investors Storm Equities, Flee Bonds

U.S.-listed ETFs attracted more than $23 billion in new assets, nearly all of it going to equities.

Reviewed by: Drew Voros
Edited by: Drew Voros

As the Fed cut rates this week and markets absorbed the fallout from the Saudi oil strike, investors took cover in equity ETFs in throngs, sending more than $23 billion in new assets to the space.

Meanwhile, U.S fixed income was abandoned to the tune of $622 million in outflows, one of the largest flows disparities between stocks and bonds we have seen in a while.

For the week ending Thursday, September 19, overall ETFs saw inflows of $23.44 billion, bringing year-to-date inflows to $196 billion. Overall assets in U.S.-listed ETFs now stand at $4.1 trillion.

Interestingly, the recent surge of inflows to equity ETFs has greatly closed the new-flows gap between fixed income and stocks ETFs. At one point this year, bond ETFs had a wide lead in new asset, some two-thirds of all new assets. After this week, U.S. fixed income ETFs so far this year have attracted $92.7 billion in inflows compared with U.S. equity’s $91.8 billion.

Large Cap Stalwarts Atop Flows

Not surprisingly, investors sought the relative safe, broad market vanilla equity funds.

Stock ETFs captured nine of the 10 top spots for inflows. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) led the way, with $2.2 billion; followed by the Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO), with $2.1 billion; and the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG), with $1.6 billion. The world’s largest ETF, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), captured $1.3 billion.

One fixed income ETF bucked the bond flow trend. The iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) saw $931 million in inflows.


Investors exited midterm and long-term Treasury funds, such as the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF), which saw $2 billion exit the fund; and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Intermediate Term Treasury ETF (ITE), with $945 million in outflows, more than half the fund’s AUM, leaving it with $931 million.

Outside fixed income, the First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund (FBT) saw a 32% loss of assets under management, shedding $600 million.

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
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF2,279.59189,920.311.20%
VOVanguard Mid-Cap ETF2,109.6829,454.887.16%
VUGVanguard Growth ETF1,595.0243,883.553.63%
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust1,343.81277,342.950.48%
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETF1,205.96123,312.100.98%
VBVanguard Small-Cap ETF1,003.4726,405.933.80%
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF931.0917,899.235.20%
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF906.1246,379.321.95%
SCHASchwab U.S. Small-Cap ETF806.789,200.398.77%
SCHGSchwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF736.508,970.798.21%


Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF-2,062.7016,439.41-12.55%
ITESPDR Bloomberg Barclays Intermediate Term Treasury ETF-945.57931.44-101.52%
FBTFirst Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund-599.481,878.57-31.91%
EWJiShares MSCI Japan ETF-533.5211,643.76-4.58%
SPTLSPDR Portfolio Long Term Treasury ETF-519.941,892.21-27.48%
XLVHealth Care Select Sector SPDR Fund-517.2117,104.11-3.02%
SPYGSPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF-276.105,216.26-5.29%
SPIBSPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF-269.594,832.16-5.58%
VFHVanguard Financials ETF-267.157,326.87-3.65%
IYRiShares U.S. Real Estate ETF-264.245,001.98-5.28%


ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity23,028.702,352,227.180.98%
International Equity158.44808,653.410.02%
U.S. Fixed Income-622.12716,603.16-0.09%
International Fixed Income258.6381,500.130.32%
Commodities 378.9979,124.810.48%
Asset Allocation7.2310,187.990.07%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity91,488.302,352,227.183.89%
International Equity-3,261.93808,653.41-0.40%
U.S. Fixed Income92,736.45716,603.1612.94%
International Fixed Income11,460.2981,500.1314.06%
Commodities 6,496.2979,124.818.21%
Asset Allocation229.7010,187.992.25%


Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
HUSEStrategy Shares U.S. Market Rotation Strategy ETF32,848110,516336.45%
DGLInvesco DB Gold Fund52,957144,115272.13%
IEUSiShares MSCI Europe Small-Cap ETF15,50949,078316.44%
SGDMSprott Gold Miners ETF152,967358,360234.27%
HECOStrategy Shares EcoLogical Strategy ETF12,39931,078250.65%
PSCHInvesco S&P SmallCap Health Care ETF19,39443,513224.36%
GBFiShares Government/Credit Bond ETF8,01816,388204.38%
RFFCRiverFront Dynamic U.S. Flex-Cap ETF22,49761,929275.28%
EBNDSPDR Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Markets Local Bond ETF171,803373,276217.27%
BDCSETRACS Linked to the Wells Fargo Business Development Company Index ETN11,59518,713161.39%



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.

Drew Voros has nearly 30 years' experience in financial journalism. He was a longtime business editor for the Oakland Tribune and sister papers of the Bay Area News Group, and finance writer for the Hollywood trade publication Variety. Voros' past roles have also included editor-in-chief at and ETF Report.