Investors can’t seem to make up their minds on whether U.S. stocks are headed for new highs — or poised for a correction.
Traders poured almost US$5 billion into the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF on Friday, the biggest one-day inflow for the US$138-billion fund since its inception in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. But just three days after that vote of confidence, more than US$3.7 billion exited the US$307 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, which follows the same broad index of large American companies.
A flight to safety that saw exchange-traded funds of short-term bonds and utilities add cash as coronavirus dominated headlines has given way to a vigorous rally. Stocks jumped Tuesday, augmenting the best two-day surge for the S&P 500 Index since October, while 10-year Treasury yields climbed the most in almost two months. That has investors struggling to decide whether they want to sit on the sidelines or go all-in.
“The best days occur near the worst days,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. “Macro shocks such as a pandemic can have a dramatic impact on the market but, if we used history as a guide, the impact is usually limited to the early stages.”
The S&P 500, which both VOO and SPY track, rose 1.6 per cent as of 1:25 p.m. in New York on Tuesday. The gauge is about one per cent off a record, after sliding almost four per cent.