No one is buying company stocks…except the companies themselves.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch included a chart in its weekly note detailing what the bank’s clients were buying and selling in the first half of the year.
The only clients who were net buyers in the first six months of 2016 — meaning they bought more than they sold — were firms doing share buybacks, according to Jill Hall and Savita Subramanian, equity strategists at BAML. These companies purchased a net $20.6 million worth of equities so far this year.
Hedge funds sold a net $5.8 million of stock, retail investors sold a net $9.5 million, and institutional investors sold a net $22.8 million. Additionally, all sectors and firm sizes saw net outflows as well. The only other inflows were into exchange traded funds, which had a small inflow.
This is just BAML’s clients, but it does provide a look into the mindset of investors so far this year.