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The Up-in-Quality High Yield Dilemma

By Scott Ellis | March 15, 2018

As we approach the end of the first quarter, it’s interesting to see how the U.S. High Yield (USHY) index has fared and what has driven its performance thus far…. Read More

Treasury Auctions and Inflation Data

By David O'Malley | August 7, 2017

Last week’s employment data confirmed the strength of the jobs market with 209,000 new jobs added during July versus an expected 180,000. The unemployment rate fell to a cyclical low of 4.3% while hourly earnings increased by 0.3% to a 2.5% year-over-year rate.

Tax Reform, the Fed and April Employment Data Remain in Focus for the Markets

By David O'Malley | May 1, 2017

Last week we saw the straw outline for the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal. The initial proposal is light on details and will likely be the opening bid in negotiations. It is too early to tell if bipartisan tax reform can be accomplished or if the budget reconciliation process will be used to make temporary reforms.

Geopolitical Risks Upset Markets

By David O'Malley | April 17, 2017

Geopolitical issues took center stage last week as stocks fell again and Treasury bond yields dropped to their lowest level in 2017, as tensions surrounding North Korea and with Russia over the U.S. attack in Syria had market participants worried about the impact of the Trump administration’s domestic agenda.

Are Leveraged Loans Becoming a Crowded Trade?

By Scott Ellis | March 30, 2017

Corporations have a variety of different options when it comes to raising outside capital. In the most basic form, they can issue equity or debt. When corporations elect to raise debt, they can issue it on a secured or unsecured basis and with fixed or floating rates. It is up to the management teams to choose the best option for the company at that time and to preserve its options for the future.

Stocks Pull Back on Trump Administration Policy Concerns

By David O'Malley | March 27, 2017

Last week was highlighted by the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The policy setback was not well received by stocks, as the U.S. markets suffered both its worst day and week in 2017.

Fed Takes a Dovish Tone While Raising Rates

By David O'Malley | March 20, 2017

As expected, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the Federal Funds rate by 25 basis points (bps) last week. The increase came with a dovish tone regarding the pace of future increases, and sent risk markets soaring and treasury yields lower following the announcement.

Is the Fed Behind the Curve with Interest Rate Increases?

By David O'Malley | March 13, 2017

Last week’s strong employment report makes it almost certain the Federal Reserve (Fed) will increase interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at its meeting this Wednesday. The February employment report showed strong gains in job creation. Non-farm payrolls increased by 235,000 for the month, which was stronger than the expected 200,000 increase and surpassed the average increase of 180,000 for the past six months. As a result, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1% to 4.7%.

High Yield Retailers Send Distress Signal

By Greg Zappin | March 2, 2017

The high yield market continues to be a strong relative and absolute performer, up about 2.5% year-to-date (YTD) following a greater than 18% total return in 2016. Virtually all sectors have generated positive excess returns this year, except one: retail. The J.P. Morgan U.S. High Yield Index has tightened 28 basis points (bps), while the retail sub-index has widened 100 bps YTD. Often it pays to be a contrarian and add to sectors that are out of favor and have materially underperformed. However, the situation in retail is neither cyclical nor supply driven.

Capital Market Outlook for 2017

By Mark Heppenstall | January 20, 2017

Nearly eight years into one of the most unloved bull markets ever for U.S. equities and credit, the rally now appears ready for “extra innings.” Despite increasingly full valuations and an earnings recession for U.S. companies during a recent five-quarter stretch, proposed economic policies under the Trump administration will be supportive of domestic economic growth and corporate profits.