Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Debts of the World: Is Junk Losing Its Steam?

Junk (aka high yield) has performed admirably during this year's bull run period from late March all the way to the present day. There have been fluctuations of course - nothing runs up or down in a straight line forever.

Note the volatility in the HY.CDX index chart from Markit that tracks the performance of bonds rated CCC, BB, and B.

But I want to draw readers' attention towards a chart for HYG, the etf that also tracks the performance of junk bonds. Note how there has been a divergence between investor inflow of funds and performance as tracked by the Chaikin Money Flow indicator (CMF). It's been an incredible run for investors in the riskiest assets but as Fall approaches, fears of corporate defaults loom.

Companies that have access to the Fed's discount window (or companies whose MAIN investors have access to the Fed discount window) and/or access to TALF (commercial real estate) should do fine. Others may not do so well.

*Disclosure - I have no position in HYG, HY.CDX, or any of the component bonds.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Blog Archive