by Jeff Tjornehoj.
A relatively flat week saw the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rise a miniscule 32 points after a small rally on Monday when the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank’s tweeting of a projected 2.6% annual growth rate for Q1 2016 perked up markets a bit before most of those gains were handed back on Tuesday. For the flows week ended Wednesday, February 24, equity mutual funds saw equally miniscule net inflows of $211 million—for only the second net inflows in the past four weeks. On the other side of the trading spectrum equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) authorized participants withdrew about $3.0 billion net, backing out of SPDR S&P 500 (SPY, -$3.2 billion) and PowerShares QQQ (QQQ, -$631 million) and making sizeable net contributions to SPDR Gold (GLD, +$2.0 billion).
Taxable bond mutual funds showed signs of life, accumulating $1.5 billion of net inflows after stringing together two decent weeks of performance. Lipper’s Loan Participation Funds classification (-$526 million) continued to bleed money, while High Yield Funds managed to attract $1.5 billion as the sector notched its second straight week of performance gains. Bond ETFs collected $3.6 billion of net inflows; the week’s biggest individual bond ETF net inflows belonged to iShares iBoxx $HY Corporate (HYG, +$944 million), while iShares 1-3 Treasury Bond (SHY, -$96 million) led the net-outflows list.
Municipal bond mutual fund investors added $523 million to their accounts despite two weeks of negative returns. Money market funds saw net inflows of $3.5 billion this past week, of which institutional investors put in $3.6 billion and retail investors redeemed a scant $100 million.