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Lipper U.S. Weekly FundFlows Insight Report: Coronavirus Takes Down The Equity Markets And Equity Funds

Mar. 02, 2020 8:35 AM ET
Pat Keon, CFA profile picture
Pat Keon, CFA


  • Equity ETFs had net outflows of $17.8 billion, the group's fifth largest on record.
  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF had negative net flows of $14.5 billion.
  • The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF and iShares MSCI Japan ETF had net outflows of $1.1 billion and $790 million, respectively.

Lipper’s fund asset groups (including both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds) saw $20.0 billion leave their coffers for the fund-flows trading week ended Wednesday, February 26. Equity funds (-$22.1 billion) were responsible for the lion’s share of the net outflows, while money market funds also chipped in $2.6 billion to the total net negative flows. On the plus side of the ledger, investors sought out taxable bond funds (+$2.5 billion) and municipal bond funds (+$2.3 billion).

Market Overview

The major equity indices all approached correction territory as the growing threat of the coronavirus gripped the market. The NASDAQ Composite Index, S&P 500 Index, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 8.52%, 8.15%, and 7.97%, respectively, for the fund-flows trading week as global pandemic fears took hold. The number of coronavirus cases surged around the globe and U.S. officials began to contemplate if the country was adequately prepared to properly combat the illness when it reaches our shores in higher numbers. The virus has already slowed down global economic growth and speculation grew this week that this negative economic impact could be enough to push the U.S. into a recession. Former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen stated that a recession with the virus as its root cause was a distinct possibility for the U.S. while speaking at a Brookings Institution event this week. As one would expect, with recession talk in the air there were also rumblings on the street that the Fed should respond with interest rate cuts in the near future.


ETFs had overall net outflows of $18.8 billion, of which equity ETFs were responsible for $17.8 billion. This net negative flow was the fifth largest in equity ETF history (Lipper began tracking this data in 1996) and its largest since the $22.0 billion net outflow for the August 7, 2019, fund-flows trading week. Not surprisingly, considering the

This article was written by

Pat Keon, CFA profile picture
Pat Keon is a senior research analyst at Lipper specializing in U.S fund classifications and portfolio analytics. Pat joined the firm in 2005 and has worked in the research and portfolio groups during his tenure. Pat has earned an MBA from Regis University (Denver, CO) and a Bachelor's from Iona College (New Rochelle, NY).

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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