Category: Insight

18 Sep 2020

CAM Investment Grade Weekly Insights

Spreads are slightly tighter on the week.  The Bloomberg Barclays US Corporate Index closed on Thursday September 17 at 128 after closing the week prior at 130.  Spreads have traded in a very narrow range over the course of the last month, with the OAS on the index never closing wider than 131 or tighter than 126 since the week of August 17, with numerous ups and downs within that tight range. Through Thursday, the corporate index has posted a year-to-date total return of +7.43%.  The FOMC was on the tape Wednesday, signaling that rates will remain near zero through 2023, and there was little movement in Treasuries throughout the week.

The high grade primary market was active again, with $42bln in new debt issued, though this was down considerably versus the prior week.  Next week is expected to be slightly less busy, with syndicate supply forecasts weighing in at $30-$35bln.  The pace of issuance should continue to subside as we approach quarter end.

According to data compiled by Wells Fargo, inflows into investment grade credit for the week of September 10-16 were +$4.5bln which brings the year-to-date total to +$196bln.  This was the 23rd consecutive week of inflows into the investment grade corporate bond market.

 

18 Sep 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $0.3 billion and year to date flows stand at $48.6 billion.  New issuance for the week was $21.3 billion and year to date issuance is at $318.9 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • S. junk bonds are holding up well amid heavy supply. They’re set to post gains after two weeks of losses, and the riskiest debt in the CCC tier is leading the way.
  • CCCs have returned 0.85% so far this week, the fourth week of gains. The broader index has gained 0.15%
  • Spreads have also been resilient, tightening 8bps to 488bps more than Treasuries since Friday even after the third busiest week on record for supply, according to Bloomberg
  • “Despite the lack of good news, spreads were little changed on the week and volatility remains light compared with equities,” Barclays Plc strategists led by Brad Rogoff wrote in note on Friday. This means that the market is “in a range”, he added
  • The annual supply record is in sight with just a bit more needed to topple the previous high of $329.6b set in 2012
  • New issues are drawing investor demand of more than three times the size of debt offered in many cases
  • Junk bond spreads and yields closed at +488bps and 5.48%, respectively
  • CCC spreads bucked the trend, tightening 7bps to +919bps, the lowest level since Feb. 26

 

(Barron’s)  The Federal Reserve Is Buying Fewer Junk Bonds. That Should Be Good News 

  • The Federal Reserve has taken a step back from the high-yield bond market. That isn’t necessarily bad news, Citigroup says.
  • It bought high-yield debt at a pace of $550,000 a day in August, according to Citi’s analysis of the Fed’s latest report. That is significantly slower than its peak pace of $55 million a day in mid-May.
  • The composition of the Fed’s purchases has changed in a couple of ways as well.
  • First, the central bank bought bonds directly, instead of buying exchange-traded funds that own bonds. While ETFs were the quickest way for the central bank to provide broad support to the corporate debt market, they are only a fraction of the market’s total size. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Fed has focused its efforts on direct bond purchases instead.
  • More important, junk-rated bonds made up a smaller share of the Fed’s purchases. They made up just 1.1% of the bonds purchased during the month ended Aug. 28, down from a 2.5% share in July, Citi found.
  • “Critically, the updated report indicates the Fed has significantly reduced both the scale and scope of support for high yield,” the bank’s strategists wrote in a note.
  • “The improvements in market structure and economic performance indicate less need for continued broad-based support,” the bank’s strategists wrote. “Should conditions deteriorate over the medium term, the Fed would likely ramp purchases again.”

 

(Wall Street Journal)  Central bank signals rates near zero at least through 2023

  • The Federal Reserve pledged to support the economic recovery by setting a higher bar to raise interest rates and by signaling it expected to hold rates near zero for at least three more years.
  • In new projections released Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting, all 17 officials who participated said they expect to keep rates near zero at least through next year, and 13 projected rates would stay there through 2023.
  • The Fed’s rate-setting committee also released new guidance specifying it would maintain rates near zero until it sees evidence of a tight labor market and inflation reaches 2% “and is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.”
  • “They set an enormously high bar to raise rates here. That’s the bottom line,” said Roberto Perli, a former Fed economist who is now at research firm Cornerstone Macro.
  • The Fed’s meeting was its first since officials made public last month a new policy framework that abandoned officials’ longtime strategy of pre-emptively lifting interest rates to head off higher inflation rates.
  • The latest materials from the Fed revealed just how much the central bank expects to change the way it will react to improvements in the economy.
  • New economic projections, for example, showed most officials expected interest rates to stay near zero over the next three years, even if inflation reaches 2% and the unemployment falls to around 4%.
  • “These changes clarify our strong commitment over a longer time horizon,” said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a news conference. “I’m not looking for a big reaction right now. But I think over time, guidance that we expect to retain the current stance until the economy has moved very far toward our goals is a strong and powerful thing.”
11 Sep 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$0.7 billion and year to date flows stand at $50.0 billion.  New issuance for the week was $8.1 billion and year to date issuance is at $297.6 billion.

 (Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights 

  • The riskiest junk bonds are outperforming in a week where valuations overall have held up relatively well amid equity market volatility. Heavy supply meanwhile is expected to carry on with about another $3 billion slated to be sold on Friday.
  • High-yield valuations have been resilient despite the stock selloff, and even in the face of a very active new issue market, Barclays Plc strategists led by Brad Rogoff wrote in a note Friday
  • After a strong run though, investors could look to swap out of unsecured bonds into secured bonds and loans within the same capital structure, adding security at a time when default rates are rising and recoveries are lower
  • A key gauge of credit risk for junk-rated firms is rising this morning, while stock futures are rebounding
  • CCCs have gained 0.08% this week, while the broader junk bond index is down 0.15%
  • While CCCs are gaining, BBs and single Bs have lost 0.3% and 0.06%, respectively
  • Junk bonds spreads were little changed at 493bps more than Treasuries, down just 1bps. Yields fell 2bps at 5.54%


(Business Wire)  Hess Announces Oil Discovery at Redtail, Offshore Guyana 

  • Hess Corporation announced another oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Redtail-1 well, the 18th discovery on the Stabroek Block, which will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block of more than 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
  • Redtail-1 encountered approximately 232 feet of high quality oil bearing sandstone and was drilled in 6,164 feet of water. The well is located approximately 1.5 miles northwest of the Yellowtail discovery and is the ninth discovery in the southeast area of the block.
  • In addition to the Redtail-1 discovery, drilling at Yellowtail-2 resulted in the discovery of additional reservoir intervals adjacent to and below the Yellowtail-1 discovery. Yellowtail-2 encountered 69 feet of high quality oil bearing reservoirs, which comprise the 17th discovery on the Stabroek Block. This resource is currently being evaluated for development in conjunction with other nearby discoveries.
  • “The Redtail-1 and Yellowtail-2 discoveries further demonstrate the significant exploration potential of the Stabroek Block and will add to the recoverable resource estimate of more than 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent,” CEO John Hess said. “Redtail is the ninth discovery in the southeast area of the block which we expect will underpin future development.”
  • The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres. ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 percent interest.
11 Sep 2020

CAM Investment Grade Weekly Insights

Spreads were mixed during the holiday shortened week and look likely to finish close to unchanged or perhaps a touch wider after it is all said and done.  The Bloomberg Barclays US Corporate Index closed on Thursday September 10 at 131 after closing the week prior at 129.  The market has a firmer tone as we got to print on Friday morning, which is a day of remembrance for those that we lost on September 11, 2001.  Through Thursday, the corporate index has posted a year-to-date total return of +7.07% versus +4.74% for the S&P500.  Treasury yields fluctuated throughout the week and are looking to finish modestly lower versus the week prior.  Treasuries were not nearly as volatile as equity markets which saw a continuation of the tech-related whipsaw which developed in the latter half of last week.

To say that the high grade primary market was active this week would be an understatement, especially considering that Monday was a holiday.  Through Thursday 44 investment grade companies sold over $65 billion in new debt according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  This is a remarkably high total over the course of just 3 trading days.  Next week is expected to be busy as well with consensus estimates calling for $40bln in new supply.  It is a good time to be an issuer with attractive borrowing costs and robust demand.

According to data compiled by Wells Fargo, inflows for the week of September 3-9 were +$6.4bln which brings the year-to-date total to +$163bln.  This was the 22nd consecutive week of inflows into the investment grade corporate bond market.

28 Aug 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were $1.9 billion and year to date flows stand at $49.8 billion.  New issuance for the week was $1.8 billion and year to date issuance is at $286.1 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bonds rallied in the wake of the Fed’s shift to a more tolerant approach on inflation with the lowest-rated bonds in the CCC tier leading the way.
  • The average spread over Treasuries for bonds in the Bloomberg Barclays CCC index tightened 5 basis points to 986 basis points more than Treasuries, the lowest since Feb. 27
  • CCCs have gained 1.02% this week and 1.63% month-to-date, beating single Bs for the fourth straight month and BBs for the third time since April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • Junk bond investors returned to the asset class with an inflow of $1.9 billion into U.S. high yield funds for the week
  • August issuance is likely close out at almost $53b, the second-busiest month on record, as the summer lull sets in
  • September is shaping up to be a relatively busy month for junk bond sales, with at least one dealer estimating volume of $35b-$40b, higher than the usual $25b- $35b
  • Junk-bond spreads tightened 3bps to a more than two-week low of +477bps. Yields fell to 5.39%

 

(Bloomberg)   Fed Seen Holding Rates at Zero for Five Years in New Policy

  • The Federal Reserve looks likely to keep short-term interest rates near zero for five years or possibly more after it adopts a new strategy for carrying out monetary policy.
  • The new approach, which could be unveiled as soon as next month, is likely to result in policy makers taking a more relaxed view toward inflation, even to the point of welcoming a modest, temporary rise above their 2% target to make up for past shortfalls.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is slated to provide an update on the Fed’s 1-1/2-year-old framework review of its policies and practices when he speaks on Thursday to the central bank’s Jackson Hole conference, being held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • At their June meeting, all 17 Fed policy makers projected that the federal funds rate they target would remain near zero this year and next. And all but two saw rates staying at that level in 2022. Officials will provide updated quarterly forecasts at their meeting next month, including for the first time projections for 2023.
  • “We’re not even thinking about thinking about raising rates,” Powell told reporters following the June meeting, in a memorable maxim that he’s repeated since.
  • Eurodollar futures aren’t currently pricing any premium for Fed rate hikes until early 2023, with a full quarter-point increase priced in toward the end of 2023. Some traders, though, have viewed this as slightly too dovish, with demand emerging for hedges against a steeper path than is currently priced in for 2023 and 2024. Some see ultra-easy monetary policy eventually spurring inflation.
  • In a sign of economic resilience, government data on Wednesday showed U.S. orders for durable goods rose in July by more than double estimates amid a continued surge in automobile demand, indicating factories will help support the rebound in coming months.
  • The Fed held rates near zero for seven years during and after the financial crisis before raising them in December 2015. Former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder doubts it will be that long this time, though he adds that he would have said the same thing when the Fed first cut rates effectively to zero in December 2008.
  • “It’s perfectly conceivable it could take seven years” before rates are increased, given how difficult it’s been for the Fed to generate faster inflation, said former U.S. central bank official Roberto Perli, who is now a partner at Cornerstone Macro LLC.

 

(Bloomberg)  Powell’s Fed Shift Allows for Higher Employment and Inflation

  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell unveiled a new approach to setting U.S. monetary policy Thursday in a speech delivered virtually for the central bank’s annual policy symposium traditionally held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
  • The new approach will allow inflation and employment to run higher in a shift that will likely keep interest rates low for years to come.
  • Following a more than year-long review, Powell said the Fed will seek inflation that averages 2% over time, a step that implies allowing for price pressures to overshoot after periods of weakness. It also adjusted its view of full employment to permit labor-market gains to reach more workers.
  • “Maximum employment is a broad-based and inclusive goal,” Powell said. “This change reflects our appreciation for the benefits of a strong labor market, particularly for many in low- and moderate-income communities.”
  • While the new strategy doesn’t target a specific rate of unemployment broadly or for certain demographic groups, it does give the central bank flexibility to let the job market run hotter and inflation float higher before taking action.
  • Powell’s speech left the matter of how tactically they would aim for higher inflation for future Federal Open Market Committee meetings. With the new strategy in place, Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said he now expects “changes to the forward guidance and asset purchase program to come at the September” policy meeting.
  • In the new statement on longer-run goals, the Fed said its decisions would be informed by its assessment of “shortfalls of employment from its maximum level.” The previous version had referred to “deviations from its maximum level.” The change de-emphasizes previous concerns that low unemployment can cause excess inflation.
  • While expected, the announcement of the strategy shift came sooner than some thought. After first fluctuating on the news, U.S. stocks resumed their record-breaking rally and the Treasury yield curve steepened to the widest in two months as traders bet policy rates will remain locked near zero for even longer.
  • “Powell is not only saying that they will be more patient in removing the punch bowl in the future, he has changed the recipe for the punch,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. “While the timing comes slightly earlier than had been expected, the Fed is far better served to under-promise and over-deliver, or deliver earlier in this case.”
21 Aug 2020

CAM Investment Grade Weekly Insights

Spreads are wider on the week.  The Bloomberg Barclays US Corporate Index closed on Thursday August 20 at 131 after closing the week of August 10-14 at 128.  The market has the feel of a quiet summer Friday as we go to print this morning.  Through Thursday, the corporate index has posted a year-to-date total return of +7.34%.  Treasury yields are lower this week after having trended higher each of the last two.

The high grade primary market was reasonably active again this week, especially for what is typically a seasonally slow time as issuers printed nearly $36bln in new debt.  Of note, the August all-time issuance record has already been broken with nearly $120bln in issuance month-to-date, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  Consensus estimates are calling for ~$20bln in issuance next week.

According to data compiled by Wells Fargo, inflows for the week of August 13-19 were +$8.0bln which brings the year-to-date total to +$136bln.  This was the 20th consecutive week of inflows into the investment grade corporate bond market.

21 Aug 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance: According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were -$0.1 billion and year to date flows stand at $47.8 billion. New issuance for the week was $12.7 billion and year to date issuance is at $284.3 billion.

 

(Bloomberg) High Yield Market Highlights

 

  • The U.S. junk bond market is likely to round out the week on a quiet note as new issue activity winds down and no deals currently slated for Friday. Spreads have come under pressure after the deluge of deals, but overall have been relatively resilient.
  • There has been some differentiation in performance by quality amid the modest widening in the past two weeks, Barclays Plc credit strategists led by Brad Rogoff wrote on Friday
  • CCCs have posted gains of 0.6% so far in August, while BBs have lost 0.12%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • “Month-to-date, the lower-rated cohorts of the investment grade and high yield cash markets have outperformed as there appears to be a bid for higher-beta credits,” the strategists wrote
  • Assuming that market volatility remains contained, that may continue
  • Investors withdrew $0.1 billion from U.S. high-yield bond funds during the week, the first outflow in seven weeks
  • The outflow may be due to “tourists” pulling cash after a strong run, according to Bill Zox, a high- yield bond portfolio manager at Diamond Hill Capital Management
  • August issuance volume is $51.74 billion, the second biggest on record
  • Travel software provider Sabre GLBL raised $850m from an upsized 5NC2 secured note after drawing orders of more than $3b and despite a downgrade from S&P Global Ratings
  • The bond was part of a broader financing to help boost liquidity and get through virus-related disruptions to the industry
  • The company’s Ebitda losses and decline in 2020 cash flow will be significant and likely lead to leverage staying above 10x, S&P wrote

 

(Bloomberg) Fed Minutes Show FOMC Backs Away From September Guidance Shift

 

  • U.S. central bankers appeared to back off from an earlier readiness to clarify their guidance on the future path of interest rates when they met in July.
  • “With regard to the outlook for monetary policy beyond this meeting, a number of participants noted that providing greater clarity regarding the likely path of the target range for the federal funds rate would be appropriate at some point,” according to minutes published Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 28-29 meeting, conducted via video conference.
  • That’s a subtle change from the previous set of minutes indicating policy makers were keen to sharpen their so-called forward guidance “at upcoming meetings.” The FOMC next gathers on Sept. 15-16.
  • Since the last meeting a number of Fed officials have indicated there is less need to offer new guidance so long as the coronavirus is significantly holding the economy back.
  • Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged near zero at the gathering and continued to buy Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at a pace of about $120 billion a month: actions that were aimed at nursing the economy through the severe recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Even as they ratcheted down the urgency of altering their guidance in the near term, policy makers continued to discuss the conditions that would merit an eventual rate increase. These included the possibility of pinning changes to the federal funds rate to an outcome on inflation or employment, as well as sharpening the language around asset purchases in terms of “fostering accommodative financial conditions and supporting economic recovery.”
  • “Members agreed that the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the minutes said.
  • “Participants saw less improvement in the business sector in recent months, and they noted that their district business contacts continued to report extraordinarily high levels of uncertainty and risks,” the record showed.

 

07 Aug 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$3.8 billion and year to date flows stand at $40.1 billion.  New issuance for the week was $17.8 billion and year to date issuance is at $248.3 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • Borrowers are hitting the high-yield market in droves to refinance at some of the cheapest rates ever amid billions of inflows into mutual funds and ETFs.
  • Investors poured almost $4 billion of cash into funds that buy U.S. high- yield debt during the week. That marks the eighth highest inflow for the asset class.
  • “We expect strong technicals to prevail in the near-term, making a substantial sell-off unlikely,” Barclays Plc strategists led by Brad Rogoff wrote on Friday
  • Year-to-date combined inflows of almost $40 billion from mutual funds and ETFs represents the highest annual inflow amount on record.
  • Not every deal is flying off the shelf though. Western Global Airlines is said to have boosted the yield on its proposed $410m offering to 10.75% in a sign of tepid demand from investors
  • Junk bonds are set to end the week with gains of 0.52%, the sixth consecutive week of positive returns and the longest winning streak since January
  • Four deals for $3.7b priced Thursday to take the week’s volume to almost $18 billion, the most since mid-June and the second busiest week on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • Issuance has been driven by refinancings, mostly from borrowers in the BB ratings band, with several selling debt at rates below 4%
  • High-yield bonds with more than $91 billion outstanding are trading above upcoming call prices, making it attractive for issuers to redeem the securities in the next three months and signaling that the refinancing wave could continue
  • The flood of deals put some pressure on spreads which widened 4bps to 476bps more than Treasuries. Yields rose 5bps to 5.27%

 

(Wall Street Journal)  Ford Selects ‘Car Guy’ as CEO To Revive Profit, Chart Future

  • Ford Motor Co. plans to install Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley as its new CEO, putting the onus on the executive to produce the tangible results that eluded his predecessor Jim Hackett during his three-year run in the top job.
  • The company said Tuesday that Mr. Farley, 58 years old, will succeed Mr. Hackett, 65, who is retiring on Oct. 1. Mr. Hackett will remain in an advisory role through next spring, the company said.
  • Farley will be under pressure to quickly build on what he called a strong foundation left by his predecessor.
  • In recent months, Ford has scrambled to borrow money as it burned through billions of dollars in cash. The company’s U.S. factories have recovered nearly to prepandemic levels, and the company signaled last week a third-quarter profit.
  • Farley emerged in February as the leading contender to take over, when the former strategy chief and longtime marketing executive was elevated into the chief operating officer role. His promotion coincided with the sudden retirement of Ford’s president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs, who essentially had been serving as a co-No. 2 with Mr. Farley in what many viewed as a competition for the top job.
  • Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said the CEO change has been planned for some time. He lauded Mr. Hackett for revamping Ford’s vehicle lineup, in part by shedding unprofitable sedans, and taking on a major revamp of Ford’s business outside the U.S. through a continuing, multibillion-dollar restructuring.
  • He also described Mr. Farley as a “car guy” who understands the technological shifts disrupting the car business, from driverless cars to the influx of digital services into the cockpit.
31 Jul 2020

CAM High Yield Weekly Insights

Fund Flows & Issuance:  According to a Wells Fargo report, flows week to date were +$1.0 billion and year to date flows stand at $36.2 billion.  New issuance for the week was $5.7 billion and year to date issuance is at $230.4 billion.

 

(Bloomberg)  High Yield Market Highlights

  • S. junk bonds yields are on track for the biggest monthly decline on record at 5.41%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Junk has returned 4.5% in July, the most for any month since April, the data show. A slower pace of issuance in July of around $25b and robust inflows have helped drive yields down
  • Technicals should remain supportive, Barclays Plc strategists led by Brad Rogoff wrote in a note Friday
  • Funds that invest in high-yield bonds saw inflows for the third straight week
  • The calendar for Friday is likely to be light. Leviathan Bond and Western Global Airlines are marketing deals that are scheduled to price next week
  • High-yield bonds with more than $93.9b outstanding are trading above upcoming call prices, making it attractive for issuers to redeem the securities in the next three months
  • CCCs accounted for about a third of the week’s volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • G-III Apparel group also priced a $400m deal at the tight end of talk after receiving orders of more than $900m
  • Junk bond spreads closed at a five-month low of 491bps more than Treasuries. Yields fell to 5.41%, also a five-month low

 

(CNBC)  Fed holds rates steady, says economic growth is ‘well below’ pre-pandemic level

  • The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady in a decision announced Wednesday that came along with a tepid outlook on the coronavirus-plagued economy.
  • In a move widely expected, the central bank kept its benchmark overnight lending rate anchored near zero, where it has been since March 15 in the early days of the pandemic.
  • Along with keeping rates low, the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, expressed its commitment to maintain its bond purchases and the array of lending and liquidity programs also associated with the virus response.
  • “We are committed to using our full range of tools to support our economy in this challenging environment,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said.
  • The post-meeting statement labeled the current state of growth as better than it was at the trough but still not up to par.
  • “Following sharp declines, economic activity and employment have picked up somewhat in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year,” the statement said. “Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions have improved in recent months, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.”
  • Markets reacted little to the news, with stocks mostly holding earlier gains and government bond yields mixed.
  • “In short, this is a holding operation, pending developments with both the virus itself and fiscal policy,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
  • Officially, the FOMC kept its rate targeted in a range between 0%-0.25%, where it last was during the Great Recession. The statement said the rate would stay there until officials are “confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”
  • “The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus,” the statement said.
  • “It’s just such an important sentence, we decided it needed to be in our post-meeting statement,” Powell added during his post-meeting news conference. “It’s so fundamental.”
31 Jul 2020

CAM Investment Grade Weekly Insights

Spreads took a breather this week and may finish the week a touch wider when it is all said and done.  The Bloomberg Barclays US Corporate Index closed on Thursday July 31 at 133 after closing the week of July 20-24 at 131.  Through Thursday, the corporate index has posted a year-to-date total return of +8.35%.  Rates have continued to grind lower over the course of the past two weeks and the 10yr Treasury is flirting with its lowest levels of 2020.

The high grade primary market was more active this week as borrowers brought just over $25bln in new debt to market.  According to data compiled by Bloomberg, $64.4bln in new debt was priced during the month of July which was underwhelming versus consensus estimates of $90-$100bln.  The primary market should continue to pick up in subsequent weeks as companies continue to report earnings, exiting blackout periods.

According to data compiled by Wells Fargo, inflows for the week of July 23-29 were +$10bln which brings the year-to-date total to +$92.9bln.