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High-grade bond market activity in the week ending September 26

Investment-grade debt has low credit risk. It’s usually an investor refuge when market and geopolitical risks run high. Investors shy away from riskier investments when market risks increase.

Last quarter, BlackBerry (BBRY) managed to allay fears that the company wouldn’t survive and would soon run out of cash with better-than-expected results. This quarter, BlackBerry came even closer to its target of breaking even.

Sector ETF Analysis

Energy & Power

Last week's rig count indicates a possible lull in the oil market
US Total Rigs

According to Baker Hughes, the U.S. total rig count was 1,931 during the week ending September 26. The rig count was a result of a decrease in vertical rigs. It was offset by an increase in horizontal drilling.

Industrials

Why Frontline's 2Q earnings are a caution signal for investors
Perf peers

After the first quarter’s poor performance, Frontline Ltd. (or FRO) reported even lower revenues and net loss for the second quarter earnings. It released the second quarter earnings on August 28, 2014.

Tech, Media & Telecom

A look at Microsoft's Minecraft acquisition and video game trends
consoles

In September 2014, Microsoft (MSFT) announced its acquisition of Mojang, a Swedish company popular for its game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.

Real Estate

Consumer comfort ticks down as personal finance deteriorates
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort

According to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, perceptions of the economy are highly negative, 23% positive versus 77% negative.

Basic Materials

Must-know: Iron ore industry's key indicators—From bad to worse
Iron ore price fall_2014

A number of factors impact the iron ore industry, such as iron ore’s demand and supply situation and the growth and growth stage of world economies.

Consumer & Retail

Must-know: An overview of highly leveraged Caesars Entertainment
Timeline

Caesars Entertainment has 51 casinos in 13 U.S. states and five countries. 38 are in the U.S. and primarily consist of land-based and riverboat casinos.

Financials

Why dividend yield matters in the current market
DVY VYM price performance

The Fed’s policy of keeping the nominal interest rates at a zero lower bound leads some investors to seek higher and stabler income elsewhere. The low-interest rate regime may force risk-taking investors towards the higher-cost debt of high yield bonds.

Macro ETF Analysis

Global Equity ETFs

Keynote: The Fed's Lockhart shares his views on U.S. economy
dual mandate

Both equity and fixed-income investors keep a close watch on GDP, inflation, and unemployment to get a sense of where the U.S. economy is heading.

Fixed Income ETFs

4 ways to increase your corporate bond exposure
treasury yield curve

Record low U.S. Treasury rates continue to push investors to find yield elsewhere, and it seems that corporations are rushing to meet the demand. Matt Tucker explains.

US Equity ETFs

Valuations and volatility: 2 key lessons from last week’s sell-off
september-ups-and-downs

While Russ doesn’t believe that last week’s sell-off reflects a fundamental shift in market conditions, he writes that it does provide two important lessons for investors.

Income ETF Analysis

Real Estate Investment Trusts

August 2014 personal consumption and incomes
Debt service Ratio

Consumer spending and consumer debt are a driver of agency REITs such as Annaly Capital (NLY) and American Capital Agency (AGNC) as well as mall REITs such as Simon Property Group (SPG) and General Growth Properties (GGP)

Master Limited Partnerships

Must-know: An investor's guide to ONEOK Partners
OKS asset overview

ONEOK Partners (OKS) is a master limited partnership (or MLP) engaged in gathering, processing, storing, and transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids (or NGLs) in the U.S.