Investors Start 2017 With A Bang, Add $13B To ETFs

Investors Start 2017 With A Bang, Add $13B To ETFs

When it comes to flows, 2017 started out how 2016 ended.

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

Investors didn't even take a moment to catch their breath. After adding a record amount of money into exchange-traded funds in the month of December, and 2016 as a whole, they continued to stampede into ETFs in the first week of the new year. Altogether, $13.1 billion entered U.S.-listed ETFs in the week ending Thursday, Jan. 5, according to FactSet.

U.S. equity ETFs were again the preferred destination. That segment saw $8.7 billion worth of inflows. On Friday, the S&P 500 touched a record high above 2,282 after returning 12% in 2016.

Meanwhile, U.S. fixed-income ETFs took in $2.8 billion; international equity ETFs took in $1.6 billion; and international fixed-income ETFs took in more than $500 million. The U.S. 10-year bond yield edged slightly lower week-over-week to last trade at 2.42%, compared with its recent high of 2.6%.

Commodity ETFs and inverse ETFs were the biggest-losing segments of the period, with outflows of $300 million and $230 million, respectively.

REIT & Retail ETFs Garner Inflows
Broad market ETFs continued to gather the bulk of inflows in the first week of 2017. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VOO), the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) and the SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF (MDY) took the top four spots for the week. 

Following suit was the Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VNQ), with inflows of $590 million. The recent slide in interest rates aided the interest-rate-sensitive real estate sector.

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) saw the largest jump in assets on a percentage basis. Inflows for XRT totaled $482 million, or 120% of the fund's AUM.

Other winners of note for the week included the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF), with creations of more than $450 million each.

QQQ & GLD Top Outflows List
On the outflows side, the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) took the No. 1 spot, with redemptions of $1.2 billion. QQQ was a big loser in 2016 as well, having outflows of more than $2.5 billion.

Following suit was the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), with outflows of $353 million. Gold prices rose by almost 2% week-over-week on the back of a pullback in the U.S. dollar. 

The VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN (DGAZ) was the biggest loser on the percentage basis. Outflows for the ETN totaled $193 million, or 59% of AUM. Traders may have cashed out of the product after natural gas prices plunged 12% on the week.

Other noteworthy losers this week included the iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (IGF) and the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index 3x Bull Shares (NUGT), with inflows of around $150 million each.

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 Trust2,266.96229,917.651.00%
VOOVanguard S&P 500 Index Fund911.1258,208.451.59%
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF721.8339,893.881.84%
MDYSPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust676.7819,835.733.53%
VNQVanguard REIT Index Fund589.5133,740.351.78%
XRTSPDR S&P Retail ETF482.09882.47120.41%
JNKSPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF456.4612,515.923.79%
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund452.6623,483.581.97%
VEAVanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF387.3141,252.480.95%
DIASPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust385.8815,218.892.60%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
QQQPowerShares QQQ Trust-1,237.4241,400.32-2.90%
GLDSPDR Gold Trust-352.9530,452.76-1.15%
DGAZVelocityShares 3X Inverse Natural Gas ETN-192.93133.81-59.05%
TLTiShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF-167.075,153.30-3.14%
IGFiShares Global Infrastructure ETF-161.041,292.22-11.08%
EWCiShares MSCI Canada ETF-157.723,554.99-4.25%
NUGTDirexion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3x Shares-138.021,621.74-7.84%
EZYWisdomTree LargeCap Value Fund-129.8682.35-61.20%
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF-104.787,439.24-1.39%
EFAViShares MSCI EAFE Minimum Volatility ETF-104.235,841.52-1.75%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity8,722.851,512,692.210.58%
International Equity1,614.45517,596.270.31%
U.S. Fixed Income2,783.80413,033.230.67%
International Fixed Income512.2740,492.111.27%
Asset Allocation-49.616,836.83-0.73%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
PXMVPowerShares Russell Midcap Pure Value Portfolio28,852168,921585.48%
EZYWisdomTree LargeCap Value Fund87,407740,674847.38%
FYTFirst Trust Small Cap Value AlphaDEX Fund55,296311,129562.66%
MLPCC-Tracks Miller/Howard MLP Fundamental ETN12,96955,542428.28%
FNKFirst Trust Mid Cap Value AlphaDEX Fund33,887236,975699.30%
MDYVSPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Value ETF56,343245,720436.12%
VCLTVanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund369,5021,263,734342.01%
SMDSPDR S&P 1000 ETF10,03534,439343.17%
SSTSPDR Barclays Short Term Treasury ETF43,860180,883412.41%
BLHYVirtus Newfleet Dynamic Credit ETF288,777823,136285.04%

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.