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Traders Continue To Bet Against The XLU Utilities ETF

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 9:41
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Analyst Paul Weisbruch of Street One Financial brings us his daily fund flows update, which today looks at relentless large cap equities buying, notable inflows to foreign stocks, and some downside options bets in a popular utilities fund.

As we stated in yesterday’s recap, the big story lately are the massive inflows into SPY (over $10 billion in lately via creations), even with equities trading off of their all-time highs here in the short term.

ETF outflows in the marketplace remain light for the most part, with nothing earth shattering to talk about in the past several sessions. Also on the inflows side has been IEFA (iShares Core MSCI EAFE), pulling in a notable more than $1 billion in recent trading days. This shows a strong investor appetite for non-U.S. equities as well.

Finally, on the options front, XLU (SPDR Utilities) has been somewhat active again, with nibbling on downside puts, similar to what we pointed out going into to the month of March (April 48 puts have traded recently there). XLU has thus far been able to keep its footing above the $51 level, after skyrocketing as high as $52 from the $48s in early February.

The Utilities SPDR ETF (NYSE:XLU) was trading at $51.43 per share on Tuesday morning, up $0.01 (+0.02%). Year-to-date, XLU has gained 5.89%, versus a 6.21% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

XLU currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 14 ETFs in the Utility ETFs category.

About the Author: Paul Weisbruch

paul-weisbruchPaul Weisbruch is the VP of ETF/Options Sales and Trading at Street One Financial. Prior to joining the team at Street One, Paul served as the Director of RIA and Institutional ETF Sales at RevenueShares ETFs from December 2007 until November of 2009. Before RevenueShares, Paul was employed by Susquehanna International Group from 2000 until 2007 serving in roles including OTC/NYSE Institutional Block Trading, Nasdaq/OTC Market Making, ETF/Derivatives Intelligence and Strategy, Algorithmic Trading, as well as acting as the PHLX Floor Specialist in the ETFs, SPY and DIA.Paul has been actively involved in the ETF space from both a product and trading standpoint since 2000. Additionally, Paul has well forged relationships with national RIAs, institutional pension fund managers and consultants, mutual fund and hedge fund managers, and also the ETF media. Co-authoring the “S1F ETF Daily” since 2009, the daily piece has become a must for many portfolio managers in the ETF space, with segments regularly appearing in the likes of Barron’s, WSJ, and for instance.

He holds his Series 4 (Registered Options Principal), 6, 7, 55 (Equity Trader), 63, and 65 licenses. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S. – Economics), graduating magna cum laude, and has an MBA from Villanova University.

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