Investors Shrug Off Vol, Add $16B To ETFs

Stock market volatility may be spooking mutual funds investors, but the same can’t be said about ETF investors.

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

Economic concerns may be growing and stocks may be getting walloped, but that hasn’t concerned ETF investors—yet. According to the latest data from FactSet, a sizable $16.2 billion flowed into U.S.-listed ETFs during the week ending Thursday, Dec. 13, with inflows seen in asset classes across the board.

That’s in sharp contrast to data released by the likes of Lipper, which showed record outflows from equity mutual funds. More than $45 billion came out of equity mutual funds during the week ending Wednesday, Dec. 12, according to the analytics firm.

Bolstered by this week’s fresh cash, ETF inflows for 2018 as a whole ticked up to $278 billion.

Equity Winners

Of this week’s ETF inflows, $8.5 billion went into U.S. equity exchange-traded funds. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) and the iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) were a few names in that category to garner inflows.

Meanwhile, international equity ETFs also saw interest, picking up $5 billion of new money. The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA), the iShares MSCI ACWI ex U.S. ETF (ACWX) and the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) were winners in that space.

ETF investors shrugged off continued volatility in global stock markets. Aside from the ongoing trade and Brexit sagas, economic data has weakened significantly in China and Europe, giving investors another aspect to worry about.

Treasury Yields Drop

That worry has led investors to hedge their equity bets with fixed income. U.S. fixed-income ETFs picked up $2.8 billion during the week, though the largest share of that went into the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK), a decidedly unsafe bond ETF.

JNK’s $880 million of inflows were followed by the $674 million that went into the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) and the $506 million that went into the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG).

During the week, the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yield briefly dipped to 2.82%, close to a four-month low.

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 Trust1,420.72253,549.990.56%
VEAVanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF1,115.5866,905.091.67%
JNKSPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF880.388,128.8210.83%
XLVHealth Care Select Sector SPDR Fund876.5420,447.634.29%
IWDiShares Russell 1000 Value ETF873.5238,623.452.26%
XLKTechnology Select Sector SPDR Fund738.5119,195.253.85%
ACWXiShares MSCI ACWI ex U.S. ETF684.444,255.3016.08%
SHYiShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF673.9517,826.613.78%
ACWIiShares MSCI ACWI ETF540.809,922.835.45%
AGGiShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF506.0055,073.890.92%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF-1,275.35155,170.54-0.82%
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF-1,185.2712,895.86-9.19%
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund-771.3825,521.85-3.02%
FLOTiShares Floating Rate Bond ETF-454.5611,734.62-3.87%
SRLNSPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan ETF-421.042,723.94-15.46%
FLRNSPDR Bloomberg Barclays Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF-338.204,297.58-7.87%
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF-331.927,406.48-4.48%
MDYSPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust-331.6717,907.40-1.85%
XLUUtilities Select Sector SPDR Fund-327.268,422.86-3.89%
IJHiShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF-278.9044,925.05-0.62%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity8,523.892,001,349.450.43%
International Equity5,011.62752,119.330.67%
U.S. Fixed Income2,831.12577,219.980.49%
International Fixed Income-395.3666,432.42-0.60%
Commodities 314.4960,831.590.52%
Asset Allocation215.079,167.522.35%

Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity123,827.942,001,349.456.19%
International Equity59,963.13752,119.337.97%
U.S. Fixed Income73,302.27577,219.9812.70%
International Fixed Income11,214.9766,432.4216.88%
Commodities -449.3560,831.59-0.74%
Asset Allocation993.829,167.5210.84%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
DIVCC-Tracks ETN - Miller/Howard Strategic Dividend Reinvestor643675.00%
FPEIFirst Trust Institutional Preferred Securities and Income ETF53,090165,793312.28%
INCOColumbia India Consumer ETF14,41939,361272.98%
SIZEiShares Edge MSCI U.S.A. Size Factor ETF20,87656,161269.02%
EMQQEmerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF151,400389,530257.28%
PXLVInvesco Russell Top 200 Pure Value ETF15,80440,245254.66%
CDLVictoryShares US Large Cap High Div Volatility Wtd Index ETF36,91684,515228.94%
JPMFJPMorgan Managed Futures Strategy ETF2,0356,193304.26%
SMLFiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor U.S.A. Small-Cap ETF83,826195,228232.90%
PBJInvesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF9,34519,691210.71%

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.