Credit Insights

Credit Spreads Snap Wider

Dave Sekera, CFA

Last week, corporate credit spreads snapped to their widest levels since the end of 2016. The combination of declining oil prices, falling equity prices, and rising international trade tensions was more than the market could bear, and investors tried to reduce their exposure to corporate bonds. The average spread of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Index (our proxy for the investment-grade market) widened 13 basis points to end the week at +133. In the high-yield market, the BofA Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index gapped 47 basis points wider and ended the week at +418. Year to date, the average spread of the investment-grade index is 36 basis points wider and the high-yield index is 55 basis points wider.