Weekly Flows Positive Despite Worst Stock Market Drop Of Year

International equity ETFs had inflows, while U.S. equity ETFs had outflows for a third-straight week.

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

U.S.-listed ETFs continued to rake in money in the latest week, even as political uncertainty in Washington fueled the largest stock market decline of the year on Wednesday. According to FactSet, $2.9 billion flowed into ETFs on net during the week ending Thursday, May 18. But once again, it was international equity ETFs that pulled in the money at the same time U.S. equity ETFs shed assets. 

That's the third-straight week it's happened. This time, international equity ETFs had inflows of $5.9 billion, while U.S. equity ETFs had outflows of $6.8 billion. The U.S. stock market was roiled on Wednesday amid allegations about President Trump's conversations with ex-FBI director James Comey. The S&P 500 dropped 1.8%, but recovered a big chunk of those losses by Friday. 

International equities weren't immune from the selling, but sentiment on overseas economies has been improving for some time. The exception is Brazil; that market saw its worst decline since 2008 on Thursday after it emerged that there may be recordings of its president attempting to silence a witness in an ongoing corruption probe. 

Bonds were a big beneficiary of this week's stock market volatility. The U.S. 10-year yield fell from 2.32% to 2.23% (bond prices and yields move inversely). U.S. fixed-income ETFs had inflows of $3.1 billion during the period, while international fixed-income ETFs had inflows of $823 million. On the other hand, commodities had outflows of $124 million.

EFA & LQD Lead Inflows
The majority of the individual ETFs to see the largest inflows were international equity funds. That includes the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA), with creations of $1.3 billion; and the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG), with creations of $660 million.

Two fixed-income products also made the top 10. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) had inflows of $724 million and the iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB) had inflows of $343 million.

The only U.S. equity fund to make the cut was the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), with its $356 million inflow. On a percentage basis, the biggest winner on the list was the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY), with inflows of $778 million, or 72% of its assets under management.

In contrast, on the outflows side, U.S. equity ETFs were everywhere. From the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), with outflows of $2.4 billion, to the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF), with outflows of $926 million, to the iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY), with outflows of $227 million―every single ETF on the top 10 outflows list holds U.S. equities.

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
EFAiShares MSCI EAFE ETF1,297.3974,272.791.78%
LQDiShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF724.0532,877.152.25%
IEMGiShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF660.1531,067.752.17%
VEAVanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF618.2552,715.621.19%
VGKVanguard FTSE Europe ETF583.0013,691.524.45%
VWOVanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF441.6154,720.970.81%
IEFAiShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF426.0625,967.461.67%
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF355.9166,277.110.54%
EMBiShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF343.5311,296.773.14%
SVXYProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF324.86778.1071.67%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust-2,376.70225,630.36-1.04%
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF-1,793.2335,254.23-4.84%
QQQPowerShares QQQ Trust-1,073.3748,647.48-2.16%
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund-926.4521,403.91-4.15%
DIASPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust-480.5615,397.74-3.03%
MDYSPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust-285.2318,070.55-1.55%
DVYiShares Select Dividend ETF-227.3916,677.61-1.35%
IYRiShares U.S. Real Estate ETF-225.524,451.61-4.82%
HDViShares Core High Dividend ETF-195.356,338.82-2.99%
IJJiShares S&P Mid-Cap 400 Value ETF-190.655,518.65-3.34%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity-6,768.331,596,932.09-0.42%
International Equity5,877.01636,589.920.92%
U.S. Fixed Income3,053.13460,652.790.66%
International Fixed Income823.1548,808.351.69%
Asset Allocation10.366,931.270.15%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
CLTLPowerShares Treasury Collateral Portfolio2391,691706.71%
USTProShares Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury17,95690,805505.71%
LRGFiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA ETF152,946660,165431.63%
HOLDAdvisorShares Sage Core Reserves ETF107386360.63%
FLNFirst Trust Latin America AlphaDEX Fund109,380360,293329.39%
EPSWisdomTree Earnings 500 Fund2,7777,584273.08%
IPKWPowerShares International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio33,07397,054293.46%
SMLVSPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF9,36625,263269.71%
VBKVanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF186,646481,889258.18%
FYCFirst Trust Small Cap Growth AlphaDEX Fund17,46138,856222.52%


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 etf.com, 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 etf.com, 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 etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’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, etf.com’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.