All Stories

What’s the Potential for Outperformance in Crossover Credits?

By James Faunce | November 16, 2017

As the cycle progresses further into its late stages, upward rating migration may continue due to improving fundamentals, operational enhancements, and active balance sheet repair. After spending a good portion of the past year repairing their balance sheets through asset sales and debt pay downs, energy companies have been the prime beneficiaries of positive rating actions in 2017. According to Barclays, of the credits that have seen upgrades into investment grade year to date, a full 60% of the volumes have occurred in the energy sector. Credits outside the commodity related sectors have only represented 30% of total volumes and those were largely driven by credit specific factors.

Inflation Data this Week to Remain Subdued 

By David O'Malley | November 13, 2017

Tuesday’s release of the Producers Price Index (PPI) and Wednesday’s release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be the economic data highlights this week. With inflation remaining stubbornly low despite strong employment conditions and the odds of a December interest rate increase running around 80%, the importance of the pace of inflation data takes on greater significance.

Gold Shimmers in the Face of Fed Tightening

By Mark Heppenstall | November 9, 2017

After five years of disappointing returns, this year’s double-digit gains in gold prices have surprised many investors, especially in light of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) continued monetary policy tightening. Conventional wisdom held that as the Fed hiked short-term interest rates, the higher opportunity cost to own gold would put additional downward pressure on prices.

Oil Prices Continue to Climb Higher

By David O'Malley | November 6, 2017

Last week Jerome Powell was nominated as the next Federal Reserve chairman. In addition to this key announcement other market-moving data, including the employment report, tax bill and treasury refunding,… Read More

America’s Bond Market is Crushing It

By Penn Mutual Asset Management | November 3, 2017

Penn Mutual Asset Management CIO Mark Heppenstall outlines the potential risks to the long-running bond bull market in his latest contribution for The Hill. While the bond bull market remains… Read More

Drilling A Bit Deeper into High Yield Energy

By Scott Ellis | November 2, 2017

With the energy markets seemingly rebalanced and oil prices hovering near $55 per barrel, we have decided to take a closer look at the Oil Field Services sector. This subsector is the weakest link in the energy supply chain as these companies largely rely on exploration and drilling capital expenditures. It was the most distressed energy subsector in 2016 and has been the last to recover. Still, enough has transpired to suggest a potential inflection point in fundamentals in 2018 or 2019, with many of the survivors effectively extending their own runways via opportunistic refinancings. Despite the spread compression in 2017, as seen in this week’s chart, this subsector of High Yield Energy still has higher credit spreads than the overall High Yield Energy sector and therefore is worth drilling into further (pun intended).

Critical Week for Bonds

By David O'Malley | October 30, 2017

This week is a critical week for the bond market as 10-year Treasuries yields are trading above the 2.4% level that has been cited by Bill Gross of Janus as signaling a bear market. This sentiment was reinforced by Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine’s comments when he called this “the moment of truth” for bonds. During the week, several key factors could significantly impact the near term movement of yields.

A Quick Guide to the Fed Chair Nominees

By John Swarr | October 26, 2017

This week’s Monday Morning O’Malley highlighted the upcoming selection of the next Federal Reserve (Fed) chair. The top candidates for the nomination include Jerome Powell, John Taylor, Janet Yellen, Kevin Warsh, and Gary Cohn. The Chart of the Week shows recent betting odds on who will receive the nomination. While the odds are fun to talk about, this week’s write-up covers the candidates’ viewpoints and policy stances so the risks behind the candidates can be anticipated. Investors should be prepared for any outcome by understanding how each candidate would lead the Fed on key issues including monetary policy, the balance sheet, transparency, and regulation.

And the Next Fed Chair is?

By David O'Malley | October 23, 2017

Stocks rallied and bond yields rose last week on optimism for the Republicans to successfully pass tax reform and on strength in third quarter corporate earnings. These two factors will probably continue to move markets in the coming week.

A Perfect Storm

By Jason Merrill | October 19, 2017

Before we jump into the commentary on this week’s Chart of the Week, let me first acknowledge how much of a tragedy these natural disasters have been for our country this year. The loss of lives and homes has been devastating. It is important for those of us that are personally unaffected by these events to keep in mind the struggle that so many are going through this year. However, the fact remains that many institutional investors have investment exposures to these disasters as well, so the discussion regarding the impact on portfolios must and will continue.