Markets

(Washington)

Investors can breathe a sigh of relief, but only for a moment, as it looks unlikely that the Fed will hike again in its next meeting this week. The Fed will not be releasing updated projections after this meeting. That said, improvements in the labor market recently make it likely that the central bank will hike rates at its meeting next month. The Fed is supposed to discuss this week all the things you might expect: “the economy, financial markets, and the future path of rates”, according to the WSJ. Fed chairman Powell will not be holding a press conference after the meeting.


FINSUM: This Fed is so hawkish and the economy is rolling so well that even a month’s break from hikes seems like a reprieve. We are a long way from 2013.

(Washington)

This midterm election might have ended up being very consequential for muni bond markets. Some in the muni market feared the possibility of the Republicans maintaining control of both the House and Senate because of how further tax changes could have hurt the finances of municipalities. However, now that Congress is split, the outlook seems more favorable. The reason why is that Congress now looks more likely to restore a tax exemption for a debt refinancing strategy that is often used by local governments.


FINSUM: Just like in other asset classes, having a split Congress looks favorable for munis.

(New York)

There is some alarming data flowing out of the bond market. First it was the huge amounts of bond fund withdrawals, and now new info—issuance is plunging. US investment grade issuance fell 34% in October (from September). High yield issuance was down 50% from last October. Overall annual issuance fell a great deal on both fronts as well. The numbers reflect slumping demand for bonds as rates and yields rise. Investors also pulled $3.1 bn from investment grade bond funds in the week leading up to November 1st.


FINSUM: This is not surprising given what has been going on in markets this month. Even the annual figures make sense given the rise in rates. The big worry is to what degree this will translate into lower demand for Treasuries at the same time as the deficit (and issuance) is about to surge?

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