Wednesday, September 08, 2010
This is getting really ridiculous. In the week ended September 1, domestic equity mutual funds saw a near record $9.5 billion in outflows: the biggest one week outflow in 2010 since the $13.4 billion redeemed in the Flash Crash week. The trend developing is simple: retail investors withdraw increasingly greater numbers in weeks in which the market is down even a little, and withdraw just a little in weeks in which the low-volume melt up presents them with an opportunity to get out at a better price level. Of course, the common thread is that as we have said for 18 consecutive weeks, retail just wants out. And now that, courtesy of Mary Schapiro, retail has finally put two and two together, and knows that even the regulators are concerned about redemptions, which are perceived by the SEC as being a function of distrust in market structure, we now fully expect more and more redemptions. Year to Date the total pulled out is a whopping $64 billion, incidentally with both inflows and the market having peaked at the same time in April. On thr other hand, if the market were tracking mutual fund redemptions (whose net liquidity is now down to just 3.5% of assets and getting worse by the day), the S&P would be in the 900 range. Once the destructive impact of the Fed's daily meddling in the stock market is eliminated, it will get there. The longer stocks are artificially held up at current artificial levels, the greater the crash when reality and anti-gravity finally meet.