Equity Outflows Surge As Stocks Limp To Record High

After the quietest 8 days in S&P history since 1964...


The broad market index managed to limp quietly to a new record close on Friday after a very mixed payrolls print.



However, despite the volumeless spike to record highs, it appears the week's dismal data..

As Bloomberg notes, to say the S&P 500 Index’s slog to a record this week failed to ignite animal spirits on Wall Street would be an understatement.

Appetite for U.S. equities evaporated even as prices inched higher, with price gains culminating in a Friday afternoon advance that left the benchmark 3 points above its March 1 close. Unimpressed, investors yanked more money from the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking the measure than any time since the presidential election.

Despite the gains, traders withdrew over $7.8 billion from the SPDR S&P 500 ETF this week, the biggest weekly outflow since January 2016 as cash flowed from stocks to fixed income. During the same period, bond funds tracked by EPFR Global took in $9.7 billion, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch note citing the firm’s data.

“People have shifted so quickly into bonds, and they’re probably doing it by selling equities,” Alex Bellefleur, head of global macro research and strategy at Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal, said by phone. “Maybe people are looking at protection, given stocks are at all-time highs.”