by Jeff Tjornehoj.
Did we just see mutual fund investors turn on a dime? After yanking nearly $5 billion from their accounts the previous week, this past week’s data show estimated net flows of $2.1 billion into equity mutual funds—for their first positive flows week this year. Although the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up for the week, the scant 392 points probably wasn’t as important as a rising sentiment that 16,000 is as good a floor as any we’ll find in this market. But count equity exchange-traded funds’ (ETFs’) authorized participants among the unconvinced: they withdrew about $8.5 billion (net), backing out of SPDR S&P 500 (SPY, -$3.2 billion) and iShares Russell 2000 (IWM, -$1.2 billion), but they made modest contributions to SPDR Gold (GLD, +$758 million).
Taxable bond mutual funds suffered their thirteenth weekly net outflows (-$523 million), but the week’s magnitude was the lightest yet. The Loan Participation Funds classification (-$333 million) notched its twenty-eighth consecutive week of outflows from mutual fund investors and High Yield Funds suffered outflows of $108 million as investors kept a wary eye on the junk sector. On the other hand, bond ETFs collected $671 million of inflows as the week’s biggest individual bond ETF inflows belonged to iShares 7-10 Treasury Bond (IEF, +$412 million), while iShares iBoxx $IG Corporate (LQD, -$423 million) led the outflows list.
Municipal bond mutual fund investors added $585 million to their accounts while the muni market gained 0.48% for the week—after the previous week’s little tumble. Money market funds saw outflows of $3.8 billion this past week, of which institutional investors pulled $4.2 billion and retail investors redeemed $400 million.
For more information on this week’s Lipper fund flows data, please visit here.