U.S. Stock ETF Investors Are Cutting Back on Riskier Trades

U.S. investors are cutting back on equity exposure and trimming stock  exposure as market volatility lingers.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data, investors yanked $3.6 billion out of equity mutual funds and exchange traded funds, with $2.6 billion flowing out of U.S. stocks, in the past week, CNBC reports.

Furthermore, while investors maintained a defensive position in equities, they also dumped more conservative government debt, which experienced net outflows of $1.5 billion from the combined Treasuries and other government-related bonds, the biggest outflow since December 2016. Overall, bond funds experienced $2.3 billion in outflows.

Rising Interest Rates & Tighter Fed Policy Concerns

The bond ETF redemptions suggest that rising interest rates and tighter Federal Reserve monetary policy may continue to be a lingering concern. Additionally, bond investors may be responding to the U.S. government debt selling from foreign countries, notably those engaged with a trade spate with the U.S.

Nevertheless, while riskier stock funds saw redemptions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted that the monthly fund managers survey showed the biggest U.S. equity overweight since January 2015, which suggested that investors believe the U.S. stock market rally may still have legs despite the short-term volatility.