ETF Flows Highlight Pressured Sectors During the S&P 500, Dow Rout

Talking Points:

  • Equities finished significantly higher Friday but the SP 500 lost 4.1%, Dow 4.2%, and Nasdaq 3.7% for the week
  • ETF flows show many investors thought Wednesday was a great dip-buying opportunity only to be burned on Thursday
  • High-yield corporate debt was cast aside, suggesting the risk premium to treasuries is insufficient

The second week of October delivered a considerable amount of volatility to markets, even more so than the first. Despite Friday’s rally, the SP 500, Dow, and NASDAQ all closed significantly lower for the week. They now trade nearer their mid-year levels with months of gains wiped away.

While the sell-off was convincing on the surface, not all investors shied away from picking up cheaper shares in the midst of a rout.

SP 500 Hourly Price Chart October 2018

SP 500 price chart october

The SPY, VOO, and IVV ETFs were one area investors looked to for equity exposure. For the week, the aggregated fund flows resulted in a net outflow of $1.26 billion. The most significant outflow occurred on Thursday at $6.4 billion. This is well within range and is actually quite underwhelming

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