Money is pouring into the world's hottest investment product


Investing the US has rarely been this popular, and exchange-traded funds have been the investment vehicle of choice.

Traders poured $23.56 billion into US funds and ETFs during the week ended Wednesday, less than $1.5 billion shy of the all-time record seen in March 2015, according to data compiled by a group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts led by Yunyi Zhang.

That marked a large step up from the prior week, which saw inflows of $1.13 billion, the data show.

Much of the weekly surge came in the form of stock investments as $17.6 billion flowed into equity funds, the most this year. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF, which tracks the benchmark index, absorbed $4 billion over the period, according to Bloomberg data.

In a client note on Thursday, Michael Hartnett, the chief investment strategist for BofAML Global Research, cited "renewed tax reform hope" as a major reason for the US equity inflows, and expressed confidence in the ongoing rally.

"The bull market is unlikely to end until bullish macro makes central banks tighten, and we're not yet there," he wrote. "We remain bullish risk and bullish inflation assets."

Stock ETFs were also prolific on a global basis, as investors piled $21.6 billion into them during the period. The net inflow to stocks worldwide totaled $21 billion, the most since the US election, BofAML data show.

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