02 Nov 2012, by
To say we had a wild ending for October would be a gross understatement as the East Coast of the U.S. prepared for and endured one of the most powerful storms in that area’s history. Adversely affecting the coastline from North Carolina to Massachusetts, “Super Storm” Sandy dealt a blow to America’s financial hub, closing U.S. markets for two consecutive days—an event not seen since 1888. With some operations running on backup power, the stock exchanges were able to reopen on Wednesday, handling the higher average volume but ending the session slightly down.
With only three trading days to work with, investors’ action in mutual funds and ETFs (excluding money market funds) was relatively flat, posting net outflows of $754 million. Despite the equity markets’ posting their first monthly loss since May, stock ETFs continued to garner assets with net inflows of $1.3 billion—breaking a two-week losing streak. On the other side of the coin equity mutual fund investors continued to look for the door, pulling roughly $1.4 billion from their accounts. Once again the majority of assets came out of U.S. Diversified Equity products. As a bit of a surprise, taxable bond funds posted their first net outflow in 17 weeks and for only the fourth time this year. Corporate investment-grade products were able to attract net inflows of $291 million, while investors turned their back on high-yield funds—$619 million in net outflows. Municipals also seemed to suffer from the shortened week; they reported net redemptions of $123 million, breaking their 28-week inflow streak. Money market funds, with $23.5 billion in net outflows, saw the most action among the asset groups—their largest since August 2011. And with $24.6 billion coming from institutional accounts, much of the move may have been attributed to quarter-end tax deadlines.