ETF Weekly Inflow Streak Since Election Ends

The streak of weekly inflows into ETFs was snapped this week.

Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

For the first week since the November elections, investors took money out of exchange-traded funds―but just barely. Outflows from U.S.-listed ETFs totaled $415 million in the week ending Thursday, March 23. That snapped a 19-week win streak for ETFs, and pushed the year-to-date inflows total down to $124.9 billion.  

Failure to pass an Obamacare replacement bill in the House of Representatives raised concerns that it will be more difficult to enact the pro-growth policies that President Trump promised, such as tax cuts and deregulation. On Friday, a vote on the health care bill was delayed for a second time after Republican leaders said there weren't enough votes for it to pass. 

The S&P 500 dropped almost 2% during the week, and saw its first 1% down day since October on Tuesday. In turn, U.S. equity ETFs saw the largest outflows, to the tune of $9.3 billion.

On the other hand, international equity ETFs picked up the slack, taking in $4.4 billion. U.S. fixed-income and international fixed-income ETFs also garnered favor amid safe-haven buying, with inflows of $3.9 billion and $800 million, respectively. 

The U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yield dipped from 2.5% to 2.4% week-over-week.

Emerging Markets ETFs Pick Up Assets 
In terms of individual ETFs, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) and the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) were the biggest winners, with inflows of $2.6 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

Small-caps got hit harder than their large-cap counterparts this week, which likely prompted some bargain buying.

Taking the No. 3 spot on the inflows list was the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), with inflows of $1.1 billion. Stabilization in oil prices near the $48/barrel level helped junk bond prices edge up from recent lows.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned IEMG wasn't the only emerging markets-focused ETF to make the weekly top 10. Others included the iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB) and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), with creations of $619 million and $456 million, respectively.

XLF & DIA Register Outflows
On the outflows side, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) had $3.9 billion worth of redemptions. That was followed by the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund (VIG), with outflows of $1.6 billion.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Trust (DIA) was another loser, with outflows of $706 million. At the same time, the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) saw redemptions of $614 million. XLF had a lousy week in terms of performance, as the ETF plunged more than 4%.

Finally, rounding out the top 10 outflows list was an international name: the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity ETF (DBJP), with outflows of $406 million.

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

Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF 2,637.43 38,254.13 7.41%
IEMG iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 1,381.84 26,580.78 5.48%
HYG iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF 1,136.02 17,565.68 6.91%
QQQ PowerShares QQQ Trust 740.14 46,462.92 1.62%
EMB iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF 619.09 9,752.25 6.78%
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF 534.96 101,069.26 0.53%
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF 510.06 47,395.26 1.09%
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF 455.75 51,053.40 0.90%
EZU iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF 390.77 8,655.42 4.73%
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund 321.88 63,855.20 0.51%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust -3,852.33 238,595.81 -1.59%
VIG Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund -1,620.73 23,633.06 -6.42%
MDY SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust -731.73 19,471.99 -3.62%
VB Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund -727.21 17,585.64 -3.97%
DIA SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust -706.07 16,143.72 -4.19%
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund -613.99 23,600.19 -2.54%
VYM Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund -583.84 17,724.44 -3.19%
VBR Vanguard Small Cap Value Index Fund -573.59 10,848.83 -5.02%
IJH iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF -411.17 38,300.74 -1.06%
DBJP Deutsche X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity ETF -406.20 1,747.92 -18.86%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity -9,266.21 1,593,193.51 -0.58%
International Equity 4,377.78 583,994.25 0.75%
U.S. Fixed Income 3,851.26 440,095.61 0.88%
International Fixed Income 785.50 44,413.34 1.77%
Commodities -91.92 63,577.60 -0.14%
Currency -60.46 2,857.92 -2.12%
Leveraged 59.10 26,451.36 0.22%
Inverse -118.48 17,230.31 -0.69%
Asset Allocation -1.75 6,627.62 -0.03%
Alternatives 49.94 3,837.81 1.30%
Total: -415.23 2,782,279.34 -0.01%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

Ticker Name Average Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
FTXO First Trust Nasdaq Bank ETF 291,979 1,669,824 571.90%
XRLV PowerShares S&P 500 ex-Rate Sensitive Low Volatility Portfolio 150,414 974,678 648.00%
EZY WisdomTree LargeCap Value Fund 7,128 37,207 521.96%
JHML John Hancock Multifactor Large Cap ETF 64,387 237,510 368.88%
LOWC SPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF 1,234 3,904 316.21%
JHMM John Hancock Multifactor Mid Cap ETF 35,011 107,535 307.14%
FXN First Trust Energy AlphaDEX Fund 1,471,695 5,782,680 392.93%
RTH VanEck Vectors Retail ETF 24,429 73,665 301.55%
QDF FlexShares Quality Dividend Index Fund 182,750 674,496 369.08%
MLPQ ETRACS 2xMonthly Leveraged Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN Series B 4,669 12,189 261.08%

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's worked for 12 years. Before joining the company, Roy was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing pickleball and snowboarding.