Eq: Large Cap

(Detroit)

The US auto industry has a huge problem, and if you’ve ben paying attention, you should already be starting to become aware. Consider this: the US economy has been doing great and the employment market is tight, yet US automakers are closing factories and cutting their workforces left and right. The disconnect comes down to an important issue—US auto factories are not aligned with customer demand. Traditional sedans are rapidly losing market share, yet US auto plants are set up to produce them. SUVs are taking over American car purchases, but automakers aren’t equipped to meet demand.


FINSUM: This is an eye-opening issue, but surely the problem of shifting demand is better than demand falling in aggregate. It does seem like there are going to be some rough years as automakers play catch up.

(New York)

The junk bond market is going through an eye-opening drought. Not one company under investment grade has issued a bond since November, the longest spell of this kind in more than two decades. Investors are worried over the economy and market volatility, which has basically shut down any new issuance. It has now been 41 days since a junk bond sale, the longest period since 1995. December was the first month since 2008 without a junk bond sale.


FINSUM: When credit starts to get ugly, investors would be wise to pay attention. The question is whether this is just a short-term hiatus or a sign of worse things to come.

(New York)

While the stock market is getting all of the attention, the bond market is experiencing a lot of turbulence as well. The riskiest corners of the debt market, including junk bonds and loans, are on pace for their worst month since the US downgrade in August 2011. High yield’s spread to Treasuries has surged a whopping 110 basis points since the start of the month, and unlike in stocks, there aren’t signs of a rebound. The average yield on the index is 8%.


FINSUM: It is reasonable to be nervous about credit right now given the huge volume of issuance in recent years and the pending threat of a recession and accompanying earnings slowdown.

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