Apr 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

Equity funds saw greater losses in Q1 than all of 2008

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Data: Lipper Refinitiv; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Between price declines and investor redemptions, the value of stock mutual funds and ETFs held by U.S. investors declined by $3.6 trillion during the first quarter.

Why it matters: Not only is the number a record high for a quarter, it's higher than any full year on record, according to data from Lipper Refinitiv.

By the numbers: The decline in equity fund value during the quarter is over $700 billion more than was seen in 2008 during the Great Recession.

  • The average equity fund posted a 22.3% decline during the quarter, data show.

On the other side: Institutional and retail money market funds drew $702 billion of inflows during the quarter, more than the inflows for the entire year in 2008.

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Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.

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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.

Social media takes on world leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Social media companies are finally beginning to take action on posts from world leaders that violate their policies, after years of letting them mostly say whatever they wanted unfiltered to millions of people.

Why it matters: Government officials are among the users most likely to abuse the wide reach and minimal regulation of tech platforms. Mounting pressure to stop harmful content from spreading amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests and a looming U.S. election has spurred some companies to finally do something about it.