Investors Take A Breather, EPFR Global Says

Investors are taking a breather. In the week ending April 19, equity and bond fund groups were subdued. U.S. equity funds (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote SPY this time.) posted outflows for the fourth time in five weeks and France (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote EWQ this time.) equity funds sold for the eighth time in the past nine weeks, according to the fund trackers at EPFR Global. Even Japan (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote EWJ this time.) saw back-to-back outflows for the first time since mid-November. Over $12 billion was cashed in from U.S. money market funds.

Are investors putting money under the mattress? Between European elections (and terrorist attacks in Paris on April 20) and North Korea threats to nuke San Francisco, geopolitics has everyone hitting the pause button right now.

All of the major EPFR Global-tracked developed markets equity funds struggled to attract fresh money during the third week of April, with geopolitical risks and the lack of progress on key policy goals by President Donald Trump’s administration sapping investor appetite for additional exposure, the Cambridge, Mass-based company said today.

Sector funds were muted as investors wait for first quarter earnings season to begin. Utilities (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote XLU this time.) sector funds recorded the biggest inflows during the week ending April 19 while Healthcare (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote XLV this time.) and Energy saw the largest outflows. Energy (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote XLE this time.) funds have now recorded three straight weeks of net outflows. Expectations for first quarter earnings are high with Exxon (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote XOM this time.) and Chevron (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote CVX this time.) both reporting on April 28.

Note: the above tickers are for reference only and are not part of EPFR fund flow data.

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