BlackRock Municipal 2020 Term Trust

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  • Financials

    Why low inflation in the US shows that resources are being wasted

    The speech took an interesting turn when Kocherlakota questioned his audience on they should care that inflation is too low.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///Fig
    Financials

    Pianalto’s take on the Fed funds rate before the financial crisis

    When consumers can borrow at lower interest rates, they can afford to buy more goods and services, and the businesses that supply those goods and services can hire more people.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///LL Issuance
    Consumer

    Must-know leveraged loan update: Issuance increased last week

    The primary loan market remained busy with opportunistic issuers coming in to test the investor’s interest for floating interest rate loans.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • Financials

    Fixed income ETF must-knows: Comparing Treasuries and other ETFs

    Credit spreads associated with lower rated bank loans found in SNLN and BKLN could underperform as corporations see cash flow decline and their ability to service their debt is compromised.

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • Financials

    Macro investment recovers: Time to short the long end of the curve?

    This article considers the possibility of rising rates and the case for taking a bearish view on bond prices.

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • Energy & Utilities

    How yields, credit spreads, and interest rates are interacting

    Rates have risen only modestly until now and are expected to rise gradually even after the Fed’s asset purchase program ends.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Energy & Utilities

    A must-know guide to interest rates and your investments

    With interest rates expected to rise from their record lows, investors are flocking to equities and high yield securities in search of returns.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loans Issuance Reaches Its Highest 2015 Level

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of ~$19.0 billion worth of senior loans across 22 transactions in the week to May 8.

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///bbbddaeeccffefcd
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Letting Alternative Investments Hedge Your Returns against Deflation

    An alternative investment is an investment in asset classes other than stocks, bonds, and cash that seeks to provide a hedge against various market risks.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Consumer

    Fixed income must-know: Why the Fed struggles to create inflation

    This article considers the Federal Reserve Bank’s continued struggle to reach its inflation target and the implications for fixed income investors.

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • Financials

    Why the federal budget deficit is returning to normal levels

    This article considers the ongoing decline in the federal budget deficit and considers the implication for fixed income investors.

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loan Issuance Was Almost Stable Last Week

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $4.75 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week to April 29.

    By Lynn Noah
  • Consumer

    Flight from quality and duration: Going to Vegas with SNLN and BKLN

    Ultra-short duration: Avoiding losses in a rising rate environment The below graph reflects changes in popular fixed income ETFs since the 2008 crisis. As the bond market rally has softened and interest rates have risen, longer-duration bonds, as reflected in the iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF (AGG), with a duration of 5.11 years, […]

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • Financials

    How can retail investors invest in floating rate notes, or FRNs?

    The Treasury’s newest issuance of floating rate notes, or FRNs, on January 29, commanded immense investor interest. The $15 billion issue received bids for 5.67 times the issue amount.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Fixed income ETFs: Key differences in duration and quality

    This article considers the trade-offs between high-credit-quality and lower-credit-quality, as well as shorter-duration and longer-duration, fixed income ETFs.

    By Marc Wiersum, MBA
  • Financials

    Why personal income and outlays rose in June

    Income and spending were up, while inflation numbers were restrained at the core level. Personal income rose by 0.4% in June, matching the pace of the month before and meeting consensus expectations.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loans Issuance Reaches Highest Level in 2015

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $14.0 billion worth of senior loans across 15 transactions in the week ended May 1. This was 38.3% higher than the week before.

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///highyield
    Miscellaneous

    High-Yield Bonds Are Turning Out to Be the Real Winners

    High-yield bonds gained popularity due to higher yields compared to Treasury bonds, whose yields were being pushed down by the Fed’s interest rate policy.

    By Matt Tucker, CFA
  • uploads///fedvolatility
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Divided Opinions about the Fed’s Rate Hike Procrastination

    The December 2015 rate hike was the first since the 2008 global meltdown. Now the Fed is hinting at the first rate hike of the year to come in December 2016.

    By Matt Tucker, CFA
  • Financials

    Credit risk: Why high-yield bonds act like equities

    High-yield debt could do well, but there are risks. The Fed shifting toward more contractionary monetary policy poses two risks to high-yield debt.

    By James Malthus, Macro Analyst
  • Financials

    An investor’s guide to the US leveraged financial market

    According to the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association, SIFMA, the total U.S. fixed income market size is about $38.6 trillion.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///Ratings
    Financials

    Comparing leveraged loans and high yield bonds: Credit rating

    Credit rating measures the credit-worthiness of a debtor with respect to its financial and operational stability. Rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s specialize in rating credit to government agencies and corporates.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • Financials

    Comparing leveraged loans and high yield bonds: Key distinctions

    Leveraged loans (BKLN) are almost always secured or backed by a specific pledged asset or some form collateral. On the other hand, high yield bonds (JNK) may be secured or unsecured.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • Financials

    Comparing leveraged loans and high yield bonds: Debt terms

    Another item that differentiates leveraged loans from high yield bonds is “covenants,” or the financial health metrics that issuers must adhere to.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///Default Rate
    Financials

    The default rate and its relation to bond and loan prices

    Default rate is a key metric of credit risk and is defined as the risk that the counterparty will default on its financial obligations.

    By Alex Chamberlin
  • uploads///Rating
    Financials

    Must know: How credit rating affects default rate and bond price

    A lower credit rating means higher risk, and therefore, higher yield as investors look for the premium to take the risk and vice versa.

    By Alex Chamberlin
  • Financials

    Corporate debt trends—have high yield investors had enough?

    However, corporate borrowers in the primary markets continued to take advantage of the low yields environment.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    Must-know: The difference between high-yield and leveraged loans

    Historically, high-yield securities have outperformed investment grade securities in good times and vice versa in hard times.

    By Mike Sonnenberg
  • Financials

    Must-know: Why invest your money in fixed income ETFs?

    Fixed income as an asset class encompasses a variety of securities, including bills, notes, and bonds, syndicated loans, and structured products.

    By Mike Sonnenberg
  • Financials

    Why did demand for floating-rate paper increase last week?

    As expectations for higher interest rates continued, investors centered their focus on floating-rate loans to capitalize on interest rate volatility.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///HY Issuance
    Financials

    What is driving the high yield bonds’ weekly supply market?

    The high yield bond issuance for last week was relatively modest with $7.5 billion bonds printed by 14 issuers.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///LL funds Flow
    Financials

    Why the demand in the high yield bond market rebounded last week

    The high yield bond funds flow turned positive last week after a relatively small outflow the previous week, which broke the line of seven straight weeks of inflows.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///LL funds Flow
    Consumer

    Leveraged loans maintained a 94th straight week of positive inflows

    The U.S. leveraged loan market registered a straight 94th week of increase in net investors’ cash flows according to Lipper, a division of Thomson Reuters.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • uploads///US High Yield Bond Fund Flows
    Financials

    Downside potential in September for high-yield bonds

    The high yield market had what may have been its last strong week of the year The issuance volume for last week was a continuation of the strong issuance seen throughout July. It would be unusual, though, for this trend to continue into August. Volumes continue steady, flows rebound A total of 19 deals priced […]

    By Dale A. Norton
  • Financials

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard shares an alternative view

    Bullard went on to talk about the international economy from an alternate view. Under this view, most features characterizing the economy remain the same as under the traditional view—except one.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Financials

    Yellen weighs in on banks’ liquidity risk and capital requirements

    On April 15, Fed Chair Janet Yellen made the opening remarks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 19th Annual Financial Markets Conference, held on April 15–16, 2014, in Atlanta.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Financials

    FOMC participants’ views on unemployment, inflation, and policy

    The Committee thought that inflation would move back toward its 2% objective during the forecast period.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Technology & Communications

    Must-know: Investing in the emerging and frontier markets

    Like high-yield bonds, leveraged loans are issued by sub-investment grade companies and offer higher returns along with additional risk.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///rev eps usb
    Financials

    What Are USB’s Key Growth Drivers?

    U.S. Bancorp’s (USB) revenue net of interest expense grew 5% and 4% in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

    By Amanda Lawrence
  • uploads///Performance of High Yield Bond ETFs
    Fund Managers

    Bill Gross and High-Yield Bonds: Priced for Too Much Growth

    Investors generally invest in high-yield bonds (BND) when there are expectations for higher growth in the economy.

    By Sarah Sands
  • Why High-Yield Bonds Are Needed in a Portfolio
    Real Insights

    Why High-Yield Bonds Are Needed in a Portfolio

    AB Summing It Up High-yield bonds present an alternative for investors at an uncertain crossroads. Equity valuations seem attractive based on some measures, but volatility has led many investors to search for ways to temper the risk in their portfolios. At the same time, bonds—a popular risk reducer—are less attractive than normal due to extremely […]

    By AB [AllianceBernstein]
  • What Role Do High Yield Bonds Play in a Portfolio?
    Real Insights

    What Role Do High Yield Bonds Play in a Portfolio?

    AB High Yield in the Portfolio Framework Given their higher risk levels, we’d expect that stocks would continue to outperform high yield over the long run. However, high-yield bonds have clearly demonstrated that they bring much to the table if they’re combined with stocks in a carefully designed and maintained portfolio. But not every investor […]

    By AB [AllianceBernstein]
  • How Portfolio Rebalancing Boosts Overall Returns
    Real Insights

    How Portfolio Rebalancing Boosts Overall Returns

    AB Rebalancing in the Tails Because stocks have been so much more volatile than high yield, periodic portfolio rebalancing tends to occur during performance extremes—the “tails” in return distributions—when the gap between high-yield and equity returns is wide. This magnifies the “buy-low, sell-high” effect that rebalancing contributes to a portfolio’s performance. Of course, the gaps […]

    By AB [AllianceBernstein]
  • uploads///Senior Bank Loan ETFs To Provide the Hedge Against Rising Interest Rates
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Do Senior Bank Loan ETFs Provide a Cushion?

    Senior loans offer floating rate coupons and have low interest rate sensitivity. They provide the perfect hedge for rising interest rate environments.

    By Mary Sadler
  • uploads///Net debt to Gold Price
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    What Might Prevent a US Recession?

    Independent of policy specifics, there exists a growing chance our newly elected president will likely preside over the next recession. After eight years of expansion, there are signs that the economy has entered the “late cycle” phase. The Fed’s efforts to tighten policy could create a further drag on growth. A recession layered onto the […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///Net debt to Gold Price
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    What Could Prevent a US Recession?

    Independent of policy specifics, there exists a growing chance our newly elected president will likely preside over the next recession. After eight years of expansion, there are signs that the economy has entered the “late cycle” phase. The Fed’s efforts to tighten policy could create a further drag on growth. A recession layered onto the […]

    By VanEck
  • uploads///Change in the Federal Funds Rate
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    How the Next President Could Shape US Monetary Policy

    The Federal Reserve’s second last meeting of 2016 is now over, leaving only one meeting left in which the central bank can enact a rate hike.

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///Relationship bet FAZ FAZ
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Analyzing Dodd–Frank’s Constraints in the US Financial Market

    While Donald Trump wants to get rid of the Dodd–Frank Act, especially the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Hillary Clinton wants to retain it.

    By Penny Morgan
  • uploads///Federal Spending to Interest Rates
    Macroeconomic Analysis

    Federal Spending and Interest Rates: Analyzing the Connection

    What about the impact on interest rates? Here again, there is no consistent relationship between spending and interest rates.

    By Russ Koesterich, CFA
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Leveraged Loans Issuance Skyrocketed Last Week

    According to S&P Capital IQ/LCD, US leveraged loans saw an allocation of $18.4 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week ended August 5, 2016.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loans Issuance: Highest Year-to-Date Last Week

    According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, the US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $20.8 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week ended May 27, 2016.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loan Issuance Gained Traction Last Week

    According to data, the US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $5.0 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week ended May 20, 2016.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Did Leveraged Loans Issuance Slow Down Last Week?

    According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, the US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $2.5 billion in dollar-denominated senior loans in the week ended May 13, 2016.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Why Did Leveraged Loans’ Issuance Fall?

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $7.6 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week to April 15.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Leveraged Loans Issuance Hit Year-to-Date Record Last Week

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $9.0 billion worth of dollar-denominated senior loans in the week to April 8.

    By Lynn Noah
  • uploads///US Leveraged Loan Market Volumes
    Company & Industry Overviews

    Issuance Jumps in the Primary Leveraged Loans Market

    The US leveraged loans market saw an allocation of $16.2 billion in senior loans in the week ending July 31. This was sharply higher than the $9.3 billion priced in the week ended July 24.

    By David Ashworth
  • uploads///Features of alt invst
    Company & Industry Overviews

    What are alternative investments?

    Alternative investments seek to provide a hedge against various market risks by following hedge fund-like strategies.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Financials

    Must-know: Why re-pricing transactions dominate leverage loans

    A leveraged loan is a commercial loan provided by a group of lenders.

    By Phalguni Soni
  • Consumer

    Why the FOMC’s new guidance weakens the Fed’s credibility

    The preferred measure of core inflation in the United States by the Federal Reserve is changes in the core PCE price index.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Financials

    The relationship between interest rates and credit spreads

    Examining credit spreads gives investors an idea of how cheap (a wide credit spread) or expensive (a narrow credit spread) the market for a particular bond category or a particular bond is.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • uploads///Treasury Yields
    Technology & Communications

    Why treasury yields increased on the hint of an interest rate spike

    On the expectation of the tapering to finish by the end of the year, about 13 FOMC participants indicated at the first Fed funds rate hike in 2015.

    By Sandra Nathanson
  • Financials

    Why the Fed’s dual mandate is attainable with a balanced approach

    The Fed’s dual mandate is balancing inflation with unemployment—that is, achieving both maximum employment and price stability.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Energy & Utilities

    Why the distressed ratio is an important indicator of recovery

    With declining a default rate and distress ratio, investors are increasingly flocking towards leveraged loans, with a view of an expected rise in interest rates in the near future.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Healthcare

    Knowing high yield bond ETFs and leveraged loan ETFs

    Let’s see how high yield bond ETFs and leveraged loan ETFs compare in the current rising interest rate environment.

    By Surbhi Jain
  • Consumer

    Comparing leveraged loans and high yield bonds: Important ETFs

    There are many ETFs that track the high yield bond market. The prominent ones are HYG and JNK, which collectively hold ~95% of the high yield bond ETF market share, and PHB.

    By Sandra Nathanson
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