ETF Investors Take a Shine Toward Overseas Markets, Corporate Credit

Additionally, the Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) experienced $2.1 billion in inflows, iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IJR) saw $2.0 billion and attracted iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IJH) $1.6 billion.

The heavy inflows into VOO and IJR while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) bled $1.6 billion in net outflows and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEArca: IWM) shrunk by $1.1 billion, suggest that investors are continuing to shift assets toward low-cost ETF options, especially as the new year began and investors position for the year ahead. VOO comes with a cheaper 0.05% annual expense ratio, compared to SPY’s 0.10% expense ratio. IJR has a 0.07% fee, compared to IWM’s 0.20%.

ETF investors also shunned the growth style, pulling $1.5 billion from the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (NYSEArca: IWF), $767.7 million from PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) and $696.3 million from Vanguard Growth ETF (NYSEArca: VUG). Many have been rotating out of the growth asset category and into the value style as the extended bull rally grows long in the tooth, and many growth sectors now trade at expensive valuations.

While gold and utilities rebounded in January in response to the return of safe-haven demand and falling yields, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) lost $866.5 million and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) shrunk by $829.8 million, which suggest that traders may be taking profits and don’t expect the rebound to last.

Meanwhile, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) saw $508.7 million in outflows, SPDR Barclays Short Term Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: SCPB) experienced $470.5 million in outflows and Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) lost $457.0 million over the past month.

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