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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Fed's programs also helped spark a rally in equity prices, and the S&P 500 had its best month since 1987 in April.

The state of play: While retail traders have jumped into the stock market with both feet, institutional investors have preferred to play it safe and go to cash, data show.

By the numbers: Investors sold $7 billion worth of equity mutual funds for the week ending April 29, according to data from Lipper, and $1.5 billion worth of equity ETFs. An ETF that tracks the S&P 500 saw the largest outflows of the week, with $4.8 billion of redemptions.

  • That contrasted with $83 billion of inflows to money market funds, which are essentially cash, during the week, according to Lipper's data.

The big picture: April was a historic month for money market funds, data from the Investment Company Institute show.

  • Total assets parked in money market funds increased to $4.73 trillion as of April 30.
  • That's the highest amount ever and nearly $1 trillion more than the level of assets held in money markets at their pre-2020 peak during the global financial crisis.
  • It's an increase of more than $500 billion from levels recorded during the last week of March.

Go deeper...Exclusive: Americans have not been impressed by the Fed's coronavirus response

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

A soaring Nasdaq is just one slice of the buy-anything market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Nasdaq closed above 11,000 for the first time on Thursday, ending the session higher for the seventh time in a row and eighth session in nine. It has gained nearly 10% since July 1.

Why it matters: It's not just tech stocks that have rallied recently. Just about every asset class has jumped in the third quarter, including many that typically have negative or inverse correlations to each other.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

Household debt and credit delinquencies dropped during Q2

Reproduced from New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans cut back on credit cards and increased savings during the worst three-month economic period in U.S. history, as household debt fell for the first time in six years, data from the New York Fed showed.

By the numbers: Total debt declined 0.2% to $14.27 trillion in the second quarter, led by a $76 billion drop in outstanding credit-card balances.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Aug 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

MacKenzie Scott redefines charitable giving for the ultra-rich

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

The extremely rich tend to think very highly of themselves, and of their ability to bend the world to their will. So when they start giving their money away, they tend to retain maximum control.

Why it matters: MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is worth about $60 billion. She pledged to give away substantially all of that money after she gained autonomy over her own wealth. Judging by her first 116 grants, she's doing so in a refreshingly radical — and humble — manner.

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