Displaying items by tag: fed
Muni bonds are seeing yields way above average right now even as Treasury bonds linger near all-time lows. The reason why is that it is increasingly apparent that there has been a huge erosion in municipal credit quality alongside the lockdown. Costs have surged at the same time as revenues have plummeted, leading to a significantly deteriorated financial picture for municipal issuers. The has been exacerbated by the fact that municipalities have largely been unsupported by the Fed as opposed to corporate issuers. But the sell-off has created opportunity, as even AAA issuers are seeing big discounts and much higher than usual spreads to Treasuries.
FINSUM: This is all about careful credit selection, as there are big opportunities, but there may also be major pitfalls.
After falling nearly 3% last week markets went off like a rocket ship today. From well before the main trading open, futures had been jumping on rising optimism. The big gains seemed to be centered on three critical aspects. Firstly, the Fed made a strong statement of support for how it would continue to help the economy. Secondly, there was good news about a new potential vaccine. Thirdly, despite broad reopening across the country, there has been little sign of a “second wave”.
FINSUM: As of the time of writing, today’s gain had already exceeded last week’s losses. Is it time for another big push higher?
The Fed announced an unprecedented monetary stimulus package this morning. The central bank declared that its new bond buying program was unlimited, and that it would immediately start buying hundreds of billions of different types of bonds in an effort to unclog credit markets. They also extended lending facilities to new markets such as municipal bonds.
FINSUM: The Fed has been far from shy to in reacting to this crisis, but nothing it is doing seems to be helping markets much. Post-announcement, the Dow is already down over 3%.
The Fed sent a big message yesterday (or at least it tried to). The US central bank made a surprise Sunday move on interest rates, slashing them to near zero and announcing more asset purchases. The cut amounted to a full percentage point in addition to $700 bn of asset purchases and various liquidity boosting measures. Despite the efforts, markets have not reacted well to the news. Two circuit breakers have been hit already since the announcement and the Dow was down as much as 10% in early trading today.
FINSUM: The Fed is taking the right steps, but doing them in the wrong way. Better guidance and signaling would have been very welcomed.
Stocks are roughly flat on the year, and there is a growing body of evidence that we may have finally come to the end of this economic and market cycle. Commercial construction is slowing, car sales have peaked, and banks are tightening lending standards even as demand is falling—all signs of an economy headed downward. According to Mike Larsson of Weiss Ratings “It is the type of stuff you see at the end of credit and economic cycles … I am concerned about the durability of this market and economic expansion”.
FINSUM: Only time will tell if the economy slows down. If so, markets will probably follow suit. Q4 GDP numbers were not nearly as good as they looked, as without trade war related boosts, growth would have only been 0.6%.