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Takeaway: Domestic equity funds put up a record weekly inflow last week above the prior record from the first week of '13 and also higher than 2007
This note was originally published October 31, 2013 at 11:02 in Financials
Investment Company Institute Mutual Fund Data and ETF Money Flow:
Total equity mutual fund flow broke to near all-time highs for the week ending October 23rd with a $13.5 billion total inflow into both domestic and world equity funds. Domestic equity mutual fund flow of $9.1 billion last week was an all-time record for U.S. stock funds in any 5 day period and eclisped the prior weekly record of $7.7 billion from the first week of 2013. As a result, total equity mutual fund trends in 2013 now tally a $2.8 billion weekly average inflow, a complete reversal from 2012's $3.0 billion weekly outflow.
Fixed income mutual funds conversely continue to have persistent outflows. This week's tally, although a sequential improvement, measured another $2.3 billion withdrawn from bond funds which has pushed the 2013's weekly average fund flow to a negative $719 million. This compares to very strong trends which marked last year when bond mutual funds averaged a $5.8 billion weekly inflow.
ETFs also experienced strong subscriptions last week, with inflows in both equity and fixed income products. Passive equity products experienced inflows of $13.0 billion for the 5 day period ending October 23rd with bond ETFs contributing $1.3 billion during the same time period. ETF products also reflect the 2013 asset allocation shift, with the weekly averages for equity products up year-over-year versus bond ETFs which are seeing weaker year-over-year results.
For the week ending October 23rd, the Investment Company Institute reported the second strongest weekly inflow into both domestic and world stock products in the history of the data set of $13.5 billion. The only other larger weekly inflow for total equities was during the first week of 2013 where $14.3 billion came into both fund classes. The domestic equity result of a $9.1 billion inflow was the largest U.S. weekly stock fund in history, larger than the prior record of $7.7 billion in the first week of the year and over 2.5x the best week in 2007. World stock fund inflows totaled $4.3 billion last week, the best 5 day result since the beginning of February 2013 and resulting in now 25 consecutive weeks of foreign stock fund flow. Including this week's new record high in domestic stock fund flows, the year-to-date weekly average for 2013 for all equity mutual funds has moved to a $2.8 billion inflow, a complete reversal from the $3.0 billion outflow averaged per week in 2012.
On the fixed income side, bond funds continued their weak trends for the 5 day period ended October 23rd with outflows staying persistent within the asset class. The aggregate of taxable and tax-free bond funds booked a $2.3 billion outflow, a sequential improvement from the $5.7 billion lost in the 5 day period prior, but still exhibiting weak trends. Both categories of fixed income contributed to outflows with taxable bonds having outflows of $1.3 billion, which joined a $1.0 billion outflow in tax-free or municipal bonds. Taxable bonds have now had outflows in 16 of the past 21 weeks and municipal bonds have had 21 consecutive weeks of outflow. While the sharp outflows that marked most of the summer and the start of the third quarter have moderated, the appetite for bonds has hardly rebounded. The 2013 weekly average for fixed income fund flows is now a $719 million weekly outflow, a sharp reversal from the $5.8 billion weekly inflow averaged last year.
Exchange traded funds mirrored the trends in mutual funds with a strong result from equity ETFs and a weak performance from fixed income passives. Equity ETFs posted a $13.0 billion inflow, the third largest weekly inflow for equity ETFs all year. The 2013 weekly average for stock ETFs is now averaging a $3.3 billion weekly inflow, a 50% improvement from last year's $2.2 billion weekly average inflow.
Bond ETFs managed an inflow for the 5 day period ending October 23rd with a $1.3 billion subscription, breaking a trend of 3 consecutive weeks of passive bond outflows, but hardly a robust number. Despite this slight net new subscription in bond ETFs, 2013 averages are flagging with just a $275 million average weekly inflow for bond ETFs, much lower than the $1.0 billion average weekly inflow for 2012.
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Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT
Joshua Steiner, CFA
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The British Pound is up another +0.4% versus the US Dollar this morning after another solid accelerating in UK Services PMI to 52.9. 10-year Gilt Yields are up 10 basis points in two days. And they should be. Reality check: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is not Mervyn King. And Carney is not going to be like Janet Yellen either. #StrongPound.
We bought both the Eurostoxx50 (FEZ) and Swiss stocks (EWL) on yesterday’s European stock market correction. Almost half of my long positions in #RealTimeAlerts are #EuroBull related at this point. #StrongerCurrencies and still long Germany via EWG
Yields shocked some to the upside yesterday as Bernanke/Yellen superimpose a) rising volatility and b) less liquidity in parts of the bond market via policy confusion. Either they whispered to Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius that they’re going to move the goal posts on the unemployment rate again or they did not. Which is it? Either way, this is a circus on tapering expectations.
|FIXED INCOME||6%||INTL CURRENCIES||26%|
In line with our #EuroBulls Q4 theme, we’re long the German DAX via the etf EWG. With European fundamentals showing improvement off low levels, we expect outperformance from Germany, and in turn for the region’s largest economy to pull the rest of the region higher. ECB policy remains highly accommodative and prepared to aid any of its sovereign members to preserve the Union. Inflation remains moderate and fundamentals are positive: confidence readings and PMIs are up since June, with factory orders trending higher and retail sales inflecting to push the trade balance higher. Finally, the unemployment rate has held steady at the low level of 6.9%, all of which signals to us that Germany’s economic climate is ramping up.
WWW is one of the best managed and most consistent companies in retail. We’re rarely fans of acquisitions, but the recent addition of Sperry, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite (known as PLG) gives WWW a multi-year platform from which to grow. We think that the prevailing bearish view is very backward looking and leaves out a big piece of the WWW story, which is that integration of these brands into the WWW portfolio will allow the former PLG group to achieve what it could not under its former owner (most notably – international growth, and leverage a more diverse selling infrastructure in the US). Furthermore it will grow without needing to add the capital we’d otherwise expect as a stand-alone company – especially given WWW’s consolidation from four divisions into three -- which improves asset turns and financial returns.
Financials sector senior analyst Jonathan Casteleyn continues to carry T. Rowe Price as his highest-conviction long call, based on the long-range reallocation out of bonds with investors continuing to move into stocks. T Rowe is one of the fastest growing equity asset managers and has consistently had the best performing stock funds over the past ten years.
”A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” -David Brinkley
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