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WEEKLY FIXED INCOME UPDATE

For the week of January 13, 2020

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CHART OF THE WEEK: SLOW WAGE GROWTH SHOULD EASE INFLATION FEARS


The December employment report showed that job growth slowed and wage growth was slower than expected. With benign wage growth, the typical inflationary consequences of an extremely tight labor market are even less threatening than they appeared last month (see Chart of the Week). This pushes back forecasts of when inflation could move sustainably above the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) 2% inflation target, allowing the Fed to remain accommodative, and should lead to a flattening of the yield curve and an ongoing positive environment for risk assets.

WEEK IN REVIEW

It was a positive week for risk assets as the United States and Iran appeared to step back from escalating military conflict. Treasury yields ticked modestly higher, while spreads on high yield, emerging markets, and securitized product sectors compressed. Despite pulling back from record levels on Friday, U.S. equity markets were positive on the week.

Continuing the trend from last month, the gains in the high yield market are being led by lower-rated credits, with the CCC index up 0.88%versus the 0.46% return for the broad index year-to-date. Bank loans are also benefitting from the positive macro environment, and outperforming high yield bonds in the opening weeks of 2020. In a change, retail bank loan mutual funds received positive flows last week, only the second weekly net inflow into the category in the past 60 weeks.

This week, the market’s focus shifts from military tensions in Iran back to trade negotiations, as the U.S. and China are on course to sign their phase one trade accord on Wednesday. Also this week, attention will turn back to corporate fundamentals as fourth quarter earnings season begins. The markets started the week in positive territory Monday, recovering from last Friday’s pullback.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Tuesday
Consumer Price Index

Wednesday
Producer Price Index

Thursday
Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, Retail Sales

Friday
Housing Starts, Industrial Production





   

Index Returns

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1 Week YTD 1-YR 3-YR 5-YR
U.S. Aggregate -0.09 0.45 9.20 4.05 2.96
IG Corporates -0.11 0.54 14.08 5.75 4.27
HY Corporates 0.26 0.46 11.48 6.10 6.19
Bank Loans 0.42 0.52 6.39 4.55 4.63
IG Corporates 1-3 Year 0.00 0.09 5.49 2.96 2.43
Global Aggregate -0.48 -0.14 6.06 4.13 2.29





   
   
      
      

TREASURY RATES

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Latest 1-YR Low 1-YR High 1-WK Change YTD Change 1-YR Change
2 Year 1.57 1.39 2.61 5 0 -101
5 Year 1.63 1.33 2.62 4 -6 -94
10 Year 1.82 1.46 2.78 3 -10 -92
30 Year 2.28 1.93 3.12 3 -11 -78





   
   
      
      

CREDIT SPREADS

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Latest 1-YR Low 1-YR High 1-WK Change YTD Change 1-YR Change
IG Corporates 96 93 148 0 3 -52
HY Corporates 327 317 452 -8 -9 -118
EM Aggregate 297 278 340 -7 -4 -22
CMBS 67 60 83 -3 -5 -16
MBS 38 32 57 -5 -1 3
ABS 36 30 52 -5 -8 -15





   
      
      

OTHER INDICATORS

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Latest 1-WK Change YTD Change 1-YR Change
S&P GSCI 430.12 -13.23 -6.10 24.35
Crude Oil - WTI ($) 59.04 -4.01 -2.02 6.45
Trade Weighted Dollar* 128.01 -0.60 -0.60 -0.09
5-Yr Breakeven Inflation Rate (%) 1.69 -0.02 -0.01 0.03

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