Market View: Can Munis Maintain their Momentum?
The BofA Merrill Lynch US Municipal Securities Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated investment grade tax-exempt debt publicly issued by U.S. states and territories, and their political subdivisions, in the U.S. domestic market. Qualifying securities must have at least one year remaining term to final maturity, a fixed coupon schedule, and an investment-grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch). Minimum size requirements vary based on the initial term to final maturity at time of issuance. Securities with an initial term to final maturity greater than or equal to one year and less than five years must have a current amount outstanding of at least $10 million. Securities with an initial term to final maturity greater than or equal to five years and less than 10 years must have a current amount outstanding of at least $15 million. Securities with an initial term to final maturity of 10 years or more must have a current amount outstanding of at least $25 million. The call date on which a pre-refunded bond will be redeemed is used for purposes of determining qualification with respect to final maturity requirements. Original-issue zero-coupon bonds are included in the index. Taxable municipal securities and 144a securities are excluded from the index.
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise, and as interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities tend to fall. Income from municipal securities may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Federal, state, and local taxes may apply. There is a risk that a bond issued as tax-exempt may be reclassified by the IRS as taxable, creating taxable rather than tax-exempt income. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, commonwealths, and possessions may be affected by local, state, and regional factors. These may include, for example, economic or political developments, erosion of the tax base, and the possibility of credit problems. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
A yield curve is a measure at a given point in time of how interest rates change based on maturity terms.
Taxable equivalent yield is the pretax yield that a taxable bond needs to possess for its yield to be equal to that of a tax-free municipal bond. It does not reflect state and local income taxes or the alternative minimum tax, if any and will vary based on each investor's tax bracket.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
The opinions in Market View are as of the date of publication, are subject to change based on subsequent developments, and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. The material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice, is not a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy, and is not intended to predict or depict the performance of any investment. Readers should not assume that investments in companies, securities, sectors, and/or markets described were or will be profitable. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. This document is prepared based on the information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.