ETF Investors Pick Safe Havens This Week

December 07, 2018

Investors poured a net of only $2.1 billion into U.S.-listed ETFs in the week ending Thursday, Dec. 6. It was a quiet few days in ETF-land.

Leading demand were U.S. fixed-income ETFs such as the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) and the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index ETF (VGSH), the latter seeing an 11% jump in AUM this week.

The appetite for short-term Treasury ETFs this year has been widely talked about, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a broad investment-grade basket such as the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) lead inflows. Perhaps risk-off is the play-du-jour as we enter the last month of the year.

The net redemptions seen in U.S. equity funds in the past week further support this ongoing flight to safety, except perhaps for the fact that investors have continued to look for value among international stock funds.

As a segment, U.S. equity funds bled $2.1 billion in net redemptions as the stock market dropped. In this past week, here’s how these popular bond funds stacked up in terms of performance relative to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY).

 

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

 

The relatively small haul for the week comes on the heels of a massive November for ETFs, when $50 billion in net assets flowed into U.S.-listed ETFs—the second biggest monthly haul since January.

The latest flows figures put last year’s December totals somewhat out of reach—in December 2017, net creations hit $52 billion. The same can be said about year-to-date net creations, currently sitting at $261 billion. With three weeks to go in the year, it looks like hitting last year’s record $476 billion haul will be a tough act to follow.

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
AGG iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF 713.07 54,423.11 1.31%
VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF 690.74 100,700.68 0.69%
QQQ Invesco QQQ Trust 572.50 65,503.22 0.87%
XLV Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund 531.57 19,833.17 2.68%
VGSH Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index ETF 526.24 4,723.08 11.14%
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 521.85 30,757.26 1.70%
IWD iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF 457.70 38,720.90 1.18%
IEMG iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 417.45 51,331.15 0.81%
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF 396.78 100,568.60 0.39%
MUB iShares National Muni Bond ETF 334.36 10,698.40 3.13%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust -4,425.43 256,566.25 -1.72%
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF -809.22 43,465.46 -1.86%
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund -618.55 27,692.69 -2.23%
VXF Vanguard Extended Market ETF -489.06 6,214.21 -7.87%
USMV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol U.S.A. ETF -382.33 18,703.72 -2.04%
VLUE iShares Edge MSCI U.S.A. Value Factor ETF -366.23 3,688.34 -9.93%
XLI Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund -312.81 11,075.02 -2.82%
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF -259.17 159,259.05 -0.16%
IJR iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF -249.73 41,050.17 -0.61%
EWJ iShares MSCI Japan ETF -231.41 16,544.33 -1.40%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity -2,134.83 2,029,111.89 -0.11%
International Equity 2,717.84 764,371.28 0.36%
U.S. Fixed Income 1,950.83 574,087.39 0.34%
International Fixed Income 56.74 66,742.66 0.09%
Commodities  -236.77 60,512.87 -0.39%
Currency -25.65 1,763.58 -1.45%
Leveraged -151.27 35,046.39 -0.43%
Inverse -5.53 11,663.10 -0.05%
Asset Allocation -25.43 9,041.11 -0.28%
Alternatives -41.36 4,900.81 -0.84%
Total: 2,104.56 3,557,241.09 0.06%

Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

  Net Flows ($, mm) AUM ($, mm) % of AUM
U.S. Equity 115,295.41 2,029,111.89 5.68%
International Equity 54,951.50 764,371.28 7.19%
U.S. Fixed Income 70,471.15 574,087.39 12.28%
International Fixed Income 11,610.33 66,742.66 17.40%
Commodities  -763.84 60,512.87 -1.26%
Currency -118.96 1,763.58 -6.75%
Leveraged 7,023.16 35,046.39 20.04%
Inverse 2,171.31 11,663.10 18.62%
Asset Allocation 766.06 9,041.11 8.47%
Alternatives 419.60 4,900.81 8.56%
Total: 261,825.72 3,557,241.09 7.36%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

Ticker Name Average Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
Volume
% of Average
RBUS Nationwide Risk-Based U.S. Equity ETF 1,475 11,723 794.53%
ACWF iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Global ETF 130,429 1,027,389 787.70%
DRSK Aptus Defined Risk ETF 26,987 204,642 758.30%
INKM SPDR SSGA Income Allocation ETF 12,139 59,034 486.34%
LFEQ VanEck Vectors NDR CMG Long/Flat Allocation ETF 24,478 117,781 481.16%
PUTW WisdomTree CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Strategy Fund 51,454 201,954 392.49%
TDTF FlexShares iBoxx 5 Year Target Duration TIPS Index Fund 330,909 1,257,601 380.04%
QCLN First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund 15,398 51,124 332.01%
SEA Invesco Shipping ETF 55,174 160,509 290.91%
FBND Fidelity Total Bond ETF 77,912 225,868 289.90%

 

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.

 

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