Weekly Outflows From US Equity ETFs Despite Record Highs

U.S. equity ETFs registered outflows for a fourth-straight week, but international equity ETFs picked up the slack. 

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

The now-familiar pattern of inflows into international equity ETFs and outflows out of U.S. equity ETFs continued for a fourth-straight week. The latest data from FactSet showed that investors pulled $1.3 billion from their U.S. equity ETF holdings, while adding $6.2 billion to their international equity ETF holdings in the week ending Thursday, May 25.

On net, U.S.-listed ETFs had creations of $7.8 billion during the period, pushing the year-to-date inflows figure to $188.6 billion.

During the week, the U.S. stock market rallied to a record high, with the S&P 500 reaching nearly 2,419 for the first time. As of this writing, the index was up for seven-straight sessions through Friday, recovering all of last week's decline and then some.

Despite the rally to record highs, the latest flows data suggest investors are now more enamored with international stocks than U.S. stocks. They also like fixed income even as the Federal Reserve gears up to potentially hike interest rates next month.

Bargain Buying In EWZ, Big Outflows From GDX
The big, broad equity ETFs continued to pull in most of the new assets. The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), with creations of $1.3 billion; the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA), with creations of $754 million; and the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK), with creations of $398 million were a few of the names on the weekly top 10.

Also making the cut was the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ), which had inflows of $518 million, as bargain buyers lept into the fund after last week's plunge. 

The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD), with inflows of $824 million, was the only fixed-income product to make an appearance on this week's list.

Meanwhile, on the outflows side, the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) was the biggest standout, with its $878 million worth of redemptions. Performancewise, GDX was essentially flat this week, even as gold prices climbed almost 1.5%. 

Other funds to see notable outflows this week were the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV), with redemptions of $594 million; the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR), with redemptions of $331 million; the United States Oil Fund (USO), with redemptions of $214 million; and the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF), with redemptions of $150 million. 

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
QQQPowerShares QQQ Trust1,276.3951,182.282.56%
LQDiShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF824.4733,605.452.52%
EFAiShares MSCI EAFE ETF754.1975,257.361.01%
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETF564.3868,184.270.83%
EWZiShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF518.075,698.9710.00%
IEFAiShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF467.3726,542.061.79%
VGKVanguard FTSE Europe ETF398.2314,318.812.86%
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF393.49111,772.340.35%
EZUiShares MSCI Eurozone ETF349.8012,585.502.86%
VTVVanguard Value ETF349.6330,748.391.15%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
GDXVanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF-878.419,041.32-8.86%
IWMiShares Russell 2000 ETF-734.8935,202.09-2.04%
SPLVPowershares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio-594.086,745.84-8.09%
DIASPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust-461.7515,192.21-2.95%
XLUUtilities Select Sector SPDR Fund-340.396,833.76-4.74%
IYRiShares U.S. Real Estate ETF-331.474,212.69-7.29%
XLKTechnology Select Sector SPDR Fund-323.4517,840.49-1.78%
XLVHealth Care Select Sector SPDR Fund-220.0616,201.33-1.34%
USOUnited States Oil Fund LP-213.952,955.95-6.75%
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF-149.597,560.84-1.94%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity-1,343.991,631,222.300.09%
International Equity6,176.90649,596.860.45%
U.S. Fixed Income2,433.11463,138.100.56%
International Fixed Income596.1549,261.430.82%
Asset Allocation111.127,055.280.61%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
FTGCFirst Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund81,137432,872533.50%
PXMVPowerShares Russell Midcap Pure Value Portfolio15,10645,797303.18%
FIEUCredit Suisse FI Enhanced Europe 50 ETN2,1295,368252.10%
ONEYSPDR Russell 1000 Yield Focus447904202.21%
EQLAlps Equal Sector Weight ETF7,84818,155231.33%
IBNDSPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Corporate Bond ETF37,65978,892209.49%
KCESPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF4,3028,843205.54%
FTLSFirst Trust Long/Short Equity ETF15,91626,156164.34%
FTSMFirst Trust Enhanced Short Maturity ETF247,125452,067182.93%
DBBPowerShares DB Base Metals Fund304,807544,438178.62%

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.