by Jeff Tjornehoj.
Crude oil continued its slide this past week, and focus turned to Russia and how its problems continue to grow the longer oil prices remain down. Lower prices led the consumer price index down 0.3% for November, its biggest one-month decline since December 2008, but consumer stocks have done well in this climate. Nevertheless, retail fund investors pulled a net $13.3 billion from their accounts for the week, the fourth week in a row they’ve pulled out money, though the size has us wondering if year-end distributions are swaying the data. Institutional investors acted similarly, to the tune of $4.6 billion removed from equity exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The week’s biggest individual ETF net inflow recipients were Financial Services SPDR (XLF, +$965 million) and iShares Russell 2000 (IWM, +$748 million), while investors pulled assets from SPDR S&P 500 (SPY, -$6.9 billion).
Taxable bond mutual fund investors reversed course as they pulled a net $4.1 billion from their accounts. Mutual funds in Lipper’s High Yield Funds classification had a fourth-straight week of outflows (-$2.5 billion), while Loan Participation Funds had net outflows of $1.5 billion—the twenty-third straight week of outflows. The week’s top destination for bond ETFs was the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG), with net inflows of $946 million. Municipal bond mutual fund investors added a net $520 million to their accounts and money market funds saw net outflows of $6.9 billion, of which institutional investors subtracted $12.9 billion and retail investors added $6.9 billion.
Weekly commentary will be on hiatus for the next two weeks, returning January 8. Until then, our last video of 2014 and a Happy New Year to you: