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April ETF Asset Report: U.S. Equities & Treasuries Win

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Improving U.S. economy, a host of unicorn IPOs and filings, Trump’s plans for tighter sanctions on Iran and the resultant rise in oil prices, better-than-expected corporate earnings and a patient Fed have regulated the investors’ sentiments and markets in the month of April.

Let's see how these events impacted asset growth in the ETF industry in April (as of Apr 25, 2019) (per

U.S. Equities Sizzle

The S&P 500 has been on radar as investors flocked to SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVV and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO). Nasdaq-100-based fund PowerShares QQQ Trust QQQ also got investors’ love. The funds SPY, IVV, QQQ and VOO garnered, respectively, about $4.71 billion, $2.73 billion, $1.98 billion and $1.13 billion in assets in the month. This was a confirmation of solid investor confidence in U.S. equities.

Key U.S. indexes like the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, in fact, hit record highs in late April. Some better-than-expected earnings have renewed confidence in the stock market. So far, positive EPS beats have been the second highest in five years.

A dovish Fed, stabilization in the oil patch and signs of improvement in some key economies like China probably have led to solid fund flows (read: S&P 500 Hit New Records: Buy These High-Beta ETFs & Stocks).

U.S. Long-Term Treasuries in Investors’ Favor

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) has also gathered about $2.98 billion. iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF GOVT has attracted about $1.18 billion. A dovish Fed and still-alive global growth slowdown have probably kept bond yields at check and veered investors toward this safe haven U.S. treasury ETF. Higher current income has also favored the funds.

Financial ETFs Gain

Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) has garnered about $1.49 billion. Bank earnings have been mixed this season. But a dovish Fed and the resultant chances of a steepening yield curve have probably favoured the fund.

The year 2019 is going to be flooded with unicorn IPOs. After a lull in the phase of government shutdown, the U.S. IPO market heated up with a pool of tech unicorn IPOs. Investors should note that income from IPO underwriting should help banks this year. Such anticipation may also lead investors toward this fund (read: Forget Rate Woes, Bank ETFs to Stay Strong on Unicorn IPOs).

Gold Lost Its Glitter

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) hasshed about $1.50 billion in assets in April. A 10-month high greenback has marred the appeal for the yellow metal. Since gold is priced in the U.S. dollar, a rising U.S. currency acts as a headwind for the metal.

Short-Term Treasuries Lost Appeal

Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV) and iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) has seenabout $1.28 billion and $922.4 billion in funds gushing out.

Healthcare Sector Lost Appeal

Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV - Free Report) has lost about $781.6 million in assets. Cyclical sectors have apparently been doing well of late thanks to a dovish Fed and rising risk appetite. This probably has reduced investors’ interest in this safe sector.

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