ETFs Gain $17.9B Despite Jittery Week

Broad market funds did well. Gold and retail? Not so much.

Reviewed by: Dan Mika
Edited by: Dan Mika

Inflows into U.S.-listed ETFs fell by about $1.1 billion week-over-week, but brought in a net $17.9 billion as investors sold off in the wake of a continued COVID-19 surge and word that the Federal Reserve will slow its bond-buying program.

As of Aug. 19, U.S.-listed ETFs have gained a net $563.2 billion in flows this year, and currently hold just over $6.62 trillion in assets under management, according to data provider FactSet.

Broad Market, Quality Gains

The largest inflows on the week went to funds with broad-based indexes. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) led all funds by gaining more than $5.2 billion, while the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) gained $815 million and the Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) rose by $703 million.

Those increases come despite the S&P 500 losing 2.1% off the close of trading Monday to shortly before day’s end of Thursday. The sell-off intensified on the release of minutes of the Fed’s last meeting, which showed that a majority of governors supported drawing down the bond-buying program that propped up credit and liquidity throughout the pandemic.

Investors also rotated into some more defensive positions during the period, with the Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF (SPLV) gaining almost $1.3 billion for an AUM increase of 13.4%. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) gained $538.1 million in net flows, while the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL) gained $416.7 million.

Gold, Retail Fall

Gold’s continued loss of popularity as a defensive asset continued during the week. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) lost the most of all ETFs during the period, with investors pulling $482.2 million for an AUM loss of 0.83%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. retail industry benchmark SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) was routed, seeing outflows of $292.3 million, amounting to a 31.4% decline in its AUM. The rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country likely renewed fears of restrictions or a drop in foot traffic in physical stores, and a report from the Wall Street Journal suggesting that Amazon is planning to open physical department store locations for its private-label wares added to those fears.

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
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust5,248.61388,333.241.35%
SPLVInvesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF1,260.329,404.1713.40%
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF815.51246,875.370.33%
VXUSVanguard Total International Stock ETF703.2549,394.681.42%
XLVHealth Care Select Sector SPDR Fund538.1432,910.841.64%
QQQInvesco QQQ Trust520.77182,882.220.28%
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund497.5141,824.631.19%
VEAVanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF421.97104,045.820.41%
QUALiShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF416.7124,651.721.69%
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF409.6219,647.332.08%


Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
GLDSPDR Gold Trust-482.1958,194.14-0.83%
XLIIndustrial Select Sector SPDR Fund-411.2818,977.05-2.17%
ARKKARK Innovation ETF-409.0421,095.44-1.94%
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF-400.7163,585.21-0.63%
IBBiShares Biotechnology ETF-362.6911,113.43-3.26%
USHYiShares Broad USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF-317.557,990.70-3.97%
XRTSPDR S&P Retail ETF-292.33931.29-31.39%
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF-269.18295,611.27-0.09%
SPIBSPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Corporate Bond ETF-257.136,004.32-4.28%
KRESPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF-253.314,342.70-5.83%


ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity12,122.303,900,966.410.31%
International Equity1,910.471,269,518.890.15%
U.S. Fixed Income2,897.301,068,455.290.27%
International Fixed Income550.88148,593.290.37%
Asset Allocation221.7817,886.701.24%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity264,673.503,900,966.416.78%
International Equity156,273.061,269,518.8912.31%
U.S. Fixed Income106,991.211,068,455.2910.01%
International Fixed Income26,561.17148,593.2917.88%
Asset Allocation3,385.7117,886.7018.93%


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

TickerNameWeekly PerformanceWeekly VolumeAUM ($, mm)
VIXYProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF10.82%22,274,501339.37
VXXiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN10.62%135,211,1331,209.19
SOGUThe Short De-SPAC ETF8.09%167,53421.60
BDRYBreakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF5.83%848,68297.56
VIXMProShares VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF5.33%355,781103.68
VXZiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN4.30%279,25343.35
GXGGlobal X MSCI Colombia ETF3.68%21,56538.52
ICOLiShares MSCI Colombia ETF3.04%143,59034.95
NIBiPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN2.74%131,56919.87
GRNiPath Series B Carbon ETN2.48%154,74171.92


Top 10 YTD Performers

TickerNameYTD PerformanceWeekly PerformanceAUM ($, mm)
BDRYBreakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF284.42%5.83%97.56
JJTiPath Series B Bloomberg Tin Subindex Total Return ETN95.24%0.45%16.34
GRNiPath Series B Carbon ETN74.57%2.48%71.92
REMXVanEck Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF58.22%-7.85%930.35
MLPOCredit Suisse S&P MLP Index ETN57.86%1.74%22.17
FUEELEMENTS Linked to the ICE BofAML Commodity Index eXtra Biofuels - Total Return ETN52.55%-0.84%1.61
KRBNKraneShares Global Carbon ETF51.36%1.69%607.09
UNGUnited States Natural Gas Fund LP45.54%-0.81%258.97
PXEInvesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF45.35%-6.32%68.54
FCGFirst Trust Natural Gas ETF44.98%-6.26%214.78


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.

Dan Mika is a reporter for He has previously covered business for the Ames Tribune and Cedar Rapids Gazette in Iowa, and BizWest Media in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dan holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Truman State University.