Not only have retail investors embraced US stocks again with the lowest cash allocations since the tech bubble, but so too have foreign investors.
The data above is available in Bloomberg and provided monthly by the US Treasury. Given the volatility of the data each month, we look at the rate of change and then apply a 12-month moving average to understand the broader trend.
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As you can see, foreigners were net sellers of US stocks for most of 2015 and the first half of 2016 before the pace of outflows reversed in a dramatic fashion. Foreigners are now piling back into the market back at levels we haven’t seen since the strong market advance of 2012-2013.
Furthermore, there was also a long-term downtrend in place since the 2007 top where it appears that foreign enthusiasm for the US stock market waned with each subsequent advance. The most recent wave of buying has broken that trend and, as we see with retail investors, foreigners tend to pile in once most of the gains have already been made.