April ETF Flows: EEM Squarely In VWO’s Cross Hairs

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Vanguard's MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca:VWO) hauled in more assets than any other U.S. ETF in April, narrowing the gap a bit more with its arch rival, the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index Fund (NYSEArca:EEM), and bringing into focus the day VWO may surpass EEM, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.com.

State Street Global Advisors' SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) gathered $1.10 billion in April, the second-most of any fund, benefiting from worries surrounding Greece. The world's biggest ETF, SSgA's S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca:SPY), remained on top in April, but lost $4.64 billion in investor assets, more than any other ETF, dropping its total to $74.44 billion. A slew of sector ETFs also suffered from investors cashing in their bets.

Last month's big flows story, Vanguard's VWO steadily catching up to iShares' EEM, is by now a familiar tale. VWO added $1.28 billion last month, lifting the total to $24.24 billion, while EEM grew by just $408.6 million to $35.75 billion. If year-to-date trends hold-VWO assets have grown 21 percent and EEM's have fallen 10 percent-VWO will easily surpass EEM in assets by the end of 2010.

Performance is clearly at play-VWO is 5 percent ahead of the theoretically equivalent EEM over the past 12 months-as is price, with VWO charging 0.27 percent vs. EEM's 0.72. However, EEM remains quite popular with traders, with $65.51 billion in turnover in April. EEM and VWO remained the fourth- and fifth-biggest U.S. ETFs, respectively, according to the report.

Top Gainers ($ Millions)

Ticker

Name

Apr Flows

AUM at 4/30/2010

Mar. Turnover

VWO

Vanguard Emerging Markets

1,284.28

24,236.65

14,447.74

GLD

SPDR Gold

1,097.78

43,925.62

32,312.08

QQQQ

PowerShares QQQ

1,072.05

22,418.75

88,227.99

TBT

ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury

875.69

5,117.77

9,692.56

EFA

iShares MSCI EAFE

744.53

35,815.09

24,441.51

VB

Vanguard Small-Cap

595.24

3,988.33

1,060.98

DIA

Dow Diamonds

514.77

9,072.86

24,715.79

MDY

SPDR S&P MidCap 400

469.67

9,791.28

10,719.78

FXI

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25

444.30

8,332.06

25,704.66

IWM

iShares Russell 2000

433.03

14,400.33

103,362.58

The third-most-popular ETF in terms of new money pouring in was the PowerShares QQQ (NYSEArca:QQQQ), which is focused on the 100 biggest nonfinancial U.S. stocks. It hauled in $1.07 billion in assets, raising its total to $22.42 billion. In the No. 4 spot was the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Treasury ETF (NYSEArca:TBT), which provides investors with double the inverse of daily returns. It gathered $875.7 million, and now has $5.12 billion.

Following in order after SPY, the list of sector ETFs that lost money in April included three other SSgA funds, including the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca:XLV), the Technology Sector Select SPDR (NYSEArca:XLK) and the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca:XLP). All lost less than $500 million.

Biggest Losers ($ Millions)

Ticker

Name

Apr Flows

AUM at 4/30/2010

Mar. Turnover

SPY

SPDR S&P 500

(4,640.14)

74,438.48

500,651.12

XLV

Health Care Select Sector SPDR

(475.30)

2,406.73

5,345.97

XLK

Technology Select Sector SPDR

(390.99)

4,481.43

5,113.44

XLP

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR

(304.85)

2,268.22

2,857.66

IWO

iShares Russell 2000 Growth

(299.72)

3,341.95

3,925.74

UUP

PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish

(283.71)

1,399.81

1,952.93

XLU

Utilities Select Sector SPDR

(212.70)

3,209.23

3,457.81

SHY

iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond

(191.80)

7,823.31

1,778.45

SLV

iShares Silver

(175.79)

5,332.65

3,333.36

FXE

CurrencyShares Euro

(146.48)

484.02

2,391.38

Industry Giants

SSgA still had the two biggest ETFs in the U.S.:SPY, and GLD, its physical gold fund. GLD added $1.10 billion, bringing total assets to $43.93 billion at the end of the month. The third-biggest remains the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca:EFA), which is focused on developed markets outside the U.S. and Canada. EFA added $744.5 million, raising assets to $35.82 billion.

The iShares Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSEArca:EEM) and Vanguard's VWO were, as mentioned above, the fourth- and fifth-biggest U.S. funds at the end of the month, respectively, according to IndexUniverse.com data.

The top three ETF firms remained BlackRock, which owns iShares; SSgA; and Vanguard. Of the three, only SSgA recorded outflows, which totaled $1.89 billion. BlackRock gathered $6.03 billion, bringing its total assets to $397.05 billion, while Vanguard added $3.43 billion, with its total money under management at $108.58 billion at the end of April.

ETF Giants ($ Millions)

Ticker

Name

Apr Flows

AUM at 4/30/2010

Mar. Turnover

SPY

SPDR S&P 500

(4,640.14)

74,438.48

500,651.12

GLD

SPDR Gold

1,097.78

43,925.62

32,312.08

EFA

iShares MSCI EAFE

744.53

35,815.09

24,441.51

EEM

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets

408.55

35,746.82

65,508.64

VWO

Vanguard Emerging Markets

1,284.28

24,236.65

14,447.74

IVV

iShares S&P 500

(20.50)

23,115.11

9,413.32

QQQQ

PowerShares QQQ

1,072.05

22,418.75

88,227.99

TIP

iShares Barclays TIPS Bond

(138.20)

20,376.24

2,364.14

VTI

Vanguard Total Stock Market

223.52

14,961.52

1,959.77

IWM

iShares Russell 2000

433.03

14,400.33

103,362.58

Also notable among the ETF firms were Barclays Capital, which owns the iPath franchise of exchange-traded notes; and Charles Schwab, the discount broker that began launching its own line of ETFs in November.

Two iPath products, focused on VIX volatility futures, the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term
Futures ETN (NYSEArca:VXZ) and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca:VXX), pulled in $329.9 million and $358.5 million, respectively.

Schwab meanwhile attracted assets to virtually all of its new ETFs for a total of $228.7 million, with total assets now in excess of $1 billion after fewer than five months as a purveyor of ETFs.

Popular With Traders

SPY remained the most traded fund in April, with turnover of more than $500 billion last month. In the second and third spots were the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (NYSEArca:IWM and QQQQ, which turned over $103.36 billion and $88.23 billion in April, respectively.

The turnover list also included a triple-exposure leveraged fund, the Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3x (NYSEArca:FAS) in the No. 5 spot and the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ETF (NYSEArca:FXI), in the No. 10 slot. The two funds had turnover of $63.9 billion and $25.7 billion, respectively.

Liquidity Mavens ($ Millions)

Ticker

Name

Apr Flows

AUM at 4/30/2010

Mar. Turnover

SPY

SPDR S&P 500

(4,640.14)

74,438.48

500,651.12

IWM

iShares Russell 2000

433.03

14,400.33

103,362.58

QQQQ

PowerShares QQQ

1,072.05

22,418.75

88,227.99

EEM

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets

408.55

35,746.82

65,508.64

FAS

Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3x

183.31

1,113.41

63,913.28

XLF

Financial Select Sector SPDR

176.91

7,101.76

44,745.88

GLD

SPDR Gold

1,097.78

43,925.62

32,312.08

EWZ

iShares MSCI Brazil

(32.69)

10,813.78

29,878.60

XLE

Energy Select Sector SPDR

375.45

6,593.18

27,359.63

FXI

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25

444.30

8,332.06

25,704.66

Don't forget to check IndexUniverse.com's ETF Data section.

Copyright ® 2010 Index Publications LLC . All Rights Reserved.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , ETFs


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