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Investors Pump Cash Into Stock ETFs on Fiscal Cliff Optimism


Investors rushed into stock ETFs tracking U.S. and emerging market benchmarks this week on hopes the Obama administration and Congress will reach a deal to avoid the worst-case scenario on the fiscal cliff.

Equity ETFs gathered $7.7 billion of inflows for the week ended Nov. 28, the most since mid-September, Reuters reports.

“There’s hope that the ‘fiscal cliff’ (deal) will be reached sooner than later,” said Jeff Tjornehoj, head of Lipper Americas Research, adding the optimism drove the inflows into stock ETFs.

Between Nov. 23 and Nov. 29, investors poured $5.7 billion into SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) , according to IndexUniverse flow data. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) attracted $1 billion and the small-cap iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) hauled in $960 million.

The flows suggest some ETF investors are positioning for a fiscal cliff agreement that would prevent automatic spending cuts and higher taxes, which would slow the economy.

“We’re optimistic that a solution will be found,” said Louis de Fels at Raymond James Asset Management International in a Bloomberg report. “But they have to be careful that it doesn’t take too long. For a year-end rally, all will depend on a resolution of the fiscal cliff.”

SPDR S&P 500

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own SPY, IWM and EEM.

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