The Fallout from Fed Rate Hikes
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. Generally, when interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities fall, and when interest rates fall, prices generally rise. High-yield securities, sometimes called junk bonds, carry increased risks of price volatility, illiquidity, and the possibility of default in the timely payment of interest and principal. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes; the longer the maturity of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price. Lower-rated bonds may be subject to greater risk than higher-rated bonds.. No investing strategy can overcome all market volatility or guarantee future results.
Treasuries are debt securities issued by the U.S. government and secured by its full faith and credit. Income from Treasury securities is exempt from state and local taxes. Although U.S. government securities are guaranteed as to payments of interest and principal, their market prices are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in response to market movements.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the price changes for each item in a predetermined basket of goods and services, and the inputs are weighted according to their importance to consumers.
The "core" PCE price index is defined as personal consumption expenditures (PCE) prices excluding food and energy prices. The core PCE price index measures the prices paid by consumers for goods and services without the volatility caused by movements in food and energy prices to reveal underlying inflation trends. Food prices consist of those included in the PCE category of “food and beverages purchased for off-premises consumption.” Prices included in the PCE category “food services and accommodations” are not included in the “food” price index because these services prices tend to be far less volatile than those for food commodities such as meats, fresh vegetables and fruits. Energy prices consist of those included in the PCE categories of “gasoline and other energy goods” and of “electricity and gas” utilities.
Yield is the annual interest received from a bond and is typically expressed as a percentage of the bond's market price.
A yield curve is a line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity dates.
The BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate Master Index is a market value-weighted index that tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade rated corporate debt publically issued in the U.S. domestic market. To qualify for inclusion in the index, securities must have an investment-grade rating (based on an average of Moody's, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch) and an investment-grade rated country of risk (based on an average of Moody's, S&P, and Fitch foreign currency long-term sovereign debt ratings). Each security must have greater than one year of remaining maturity, a fixed coupon schedule, and a minimum amount outstanding of $250 million.
The BofA Merrill Lynch High Yield Master II Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated below investment-grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. Qualifying securities must have a below investment-grade rating (based on an average of Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch), at least 18 months to final maturity at the time of issuance, at least one year remaining term to final maturity as of the rebalancing date, a fixed coupon schedule, and a minimum amount outstanding of $100 million.
The BofA Merrill Lynch 1-3 Year U.S. Corporate Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade corporate debt securities publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market with between one and three years remaining to final maturity.
The Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index is designed to mirror the investable universe of the U.S. dollar-denominated leveraged loan market. The CS Leveraged Loan Index is an unmanaged, trader-priced index that tracks leveraged loans. The CS Leveraged Loan Index, which includes reinvested dividends, has been taken from published sources.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction of fees or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The opinions in the preceding commentary are as of the date of publication and subject to change based on subsequent developments and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. This material is not intended to be legal or tax advice and is not to be relied upon as a forecast, or research or investment advice regarding a particular investment or the markets in general, nor is it intended to predict or depict performance of any investment. Investors should not assume that investments in the securities and/or sectors described were or will be profitable. This document is prepared based on information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.