Dec 9, 2019

A record amount of money has been pulled out of stocks in 2019

Data: ICI; Chart: Axios Visuals

Traders still don't trust the stock market's run and are moving money out of equities at a historic level, despite a 25% year-to-date gain for the S&P 500.

What's happening: Data from the Investment Company Institute shows money has been pulled out of equity mutual funds and ETFs in every month this year except January.

  • In total, more than $130 billion has been drawn from equity funds in 2019, making it already the largest year of outflows on record.
  • ICI's data on equity flows go back to 2010.
  • The company's estimates for November show market participants also pulled money out of equity funds in every week, except one.

Similarly, a report from Refinitiv Lipper cited by WSJ shows the largest outflows in its history, which dates back to 1992.

The bottom line: "Analysts say the trend highlights investors’ apprehension toward a stock market buffeted by the long-running U.S.-China trade war and lingering worries about a potential recession," according to the WSJ.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

A possible explanation for 2019's equity outflows

Data: Investment Company Institute; Note: Nov. 2019 and Dec. 2019 data are estimates; Chart: Axios Visuals

The historic outflow from equity funds this year likely has a lot to do with the aging demographics of the U.S., analysts at the Investment Company Institute say.

What it means: Shelly Antoniewicz, ICI's senior director of industry and financial analysis, says that the record flows out of U.S. and global equity funds and into bond and money market funds largely reflect older Americans' desire for safety.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

The end of the magic stock market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market's magnificent bounce in 2019 has been hard to explain and fueled largely by factors like stock buybacks and central bank easing.

The big picture: But to see an increase in their share prices next year, U.S. companies will have to actually increase their earnings, experts say, a factor that's been notably absent from this year's rally.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019

Powell and the risk-off bull market

Jerome Powell. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Fed’s 180-degree turn was the story of 2019, asset managers and market analysts say.

What happened: Chairman Jerome Powell and the U.S. central bank went from raising interest rates for a fourth time at the close of 2018 and giving market watchers the explicit expectation this would continue in 2019, to doing the opposite. The Fed cut rates thrice and even began re-padding its balance sheet in the last quarter of the year, bringing it back above $4 trillion.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020