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July ETF Asset Report: Gold, Bond, Nasdaq Emerge as Winners

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Wall Street was steady in July despite the rise in coronavirus cases. SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) (up 5.9%), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) (up 2.5%) and Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) (up 7%) all returned nicely due to a loose monetary policy, government’s pandemic stimulus, coronavirus vaccine hopes, pent-up consumer demand and decent earnings releases.

Against this backdrop, we highlight the ETF asset flows of July (per etf.com).

Gold Glitters

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD - Free Report) and iShares Gold Trust (IAU - Free Report) amassed about $3.73 billion and $2.08 billion, respectively, in July. Gold prices are hovering around an all-time high. The safe-haven demand for gold remains strong as several Wall Street analysts still believe that the latest market rally doesn’t have legs. Plus, a super-dovish Fed, which cut some strength out of the greenback is helping bullion ETFs like GLD and IAU.

Bond ETFs Rule

Bond ETFs like iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG - Free Report) , Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND), iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG - Free Report) , iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD - Free Report) and SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) amassed about $3.35 billion, $2.16 billion, $2.11 billion, $1.94 billion and $1.61 billion, respectively, in the month.

International fixed-income ETF Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX) hauled in about $1.53 billion in July.  The reason for this interest in domestic and international bond ETFs is record-low interest rates in the United States and several other nations.

The Fed’s purchases of Treasury and mortgage securities are unlimited. Plus, the U.S. central bank is also buying investment-grade as well as high-yield exchange-traded bond funds. This explains investors’ enthusiasm toward pouring money into high-yield ETFs. The sheer craving for higher current income amid paltry yield environment is also benefiting the funds.

Nasdaq-100 Rocks

The tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 hauled in about $1.95 billion in assets in the month. Technology has been a winning sector amid the coronavirus outbreak as social distancing norms enacted globally to mitigate the spread of the virus compelled people to indulge in online shopping and work as well as learn from home. 

Even though many corners of the global economy have reopened, the trend for work and learn from home should stay strong. This is especially true given that the second wave of contagion has been rife. Meanwhile, big tech companies have reported stellar earnings in Q2, bolstering investors’ confidence even more (read: More Run for Tech ETFs After Sizzling FAAG Earnings?).

Total Stock Market Remained in Good Shape

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI - Free Report) fetched about $1.68 billion in assets in the month. Coronavirus vaccine hopes and an extremely loose monetary policy along with government’s pandemic stimulus have kept the broader stock market steady.

Real Estate Loses

Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLRE - Free Report) shed about $1.60 billion in the month. Although rates have been low (which is a favorable factor for the real estate sector), a pandemic-driven slowdown has weighed on the rent payments’ ability among tenants.

Short-Term Bonds Out of Favor

SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL - Free Report) , iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF (SHV) and iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) have seen about $1.46 billion, $1.41 billion and $770 million in assets gushing out, respectively. Lack of yield opportunity in these products has probably caused these asset outflows.

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