With broad based equity exchange traded funds such as SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) and iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEArca: IWM) finishing well off the intraday lows touched on Tuesday of last week, we did see some signs of a rotation away from Treasury ETFs and back into equities.
For instance, Direxion Daily 30 Year Treasury Bear 3X (NYSEArca: TMV) and ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (NYSEArca: TBT) saw inflows on increased volume especially in the latter half of the week while iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSEArca: TLT) sold off rather sharply after reaching new highs on Tuesday. [Treasury ETFs Fall as Investors Regain Risk Appetite]
We also witnessed call buying in TBT which is equivalent to getting long the bearish ETF itself (and getting short long term Treasuries) and betting against a continued price increase (yield decrease) in longer dated Treasury bonds.
Interestingly, SPDR Barclays Capital 1-3 Month T-Bill (NYSEArca: BIL) saw inflows last week, to the tune of well over $8 billion. [BIL Buying]
BIL is generally used as a short term “cash” tool by institutional managers whom may be simply waiting out the volatility and looking for a re-entry point in the equity markets. That said, the assets in BIL are rarely “sticky,” and can mobilize at a moment’s notice.
IWM, the small-cap ETF, continued to see inflows despite the week’s volatility, and we noted last week a clear shift from larger cap equities and into smaller caps via IWM at least in terms of inflows/outflows that we witnessed.
Continued evidence in this is seen in the large outflows on the week that occurred in the S&P 500-tracking SPY (well over $1 billion) and PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) with approximately $600 million.