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Credit Insights

May Be Cold Outside, but Feels Like Summer Doldrums in Corporate Bond Market

Volatility dwindled over the course of the week, trading action felt light, and new issue activity was muted.

Many areas of the country are still experiencing unusually cold weather for this time of year; for example, it's in the 30s this morning in Chicago. However, activity in the corporate bond market last week felt more like being in the summer doldrums. Volatility dwindled over the course of the week, trading action felt light, and new issue activity was muted. Asset markets were generally unchanged to slightly weaker, with the resulting volatility declining to the bottom of its range thus far this year. The average spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index widened 3 basis points to +112, and the average spread of the BofA Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index widened 11 basis points to +344 basis points. The S&P 500 ended the week essentially where it began, and oil dropped a few cents per barrel.

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