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U.S. Corporate Bond Market Building Stress

Interest-Rates / Corporate Bonds Mar 06, 2015 - 01:13 PM GMT

By: EWI

Interest-Rates

Editor's note: This article is excerpted from "The State of the Global Markets 2015 Edition," a comprehensive report by Elliott Wave International, the world's largest independent market-forecasting firm. For a limited time, you can download the full report, for free, and use its year-in-preview insights to prepare, survive and prosper through the global investment landscape of 2015 and beyond. Download the full, 53-page report here -- it's free.


One of today’s riskiest investment beliefs is that the world’s central banks will prop up failing economies. Investor confidence in their ultimate success is so high that the government of Italy, whose year-over-year real GDP has been negative since the fourth- quarter of 2011, just sold 10-year bonds at a record-low yield of less than 2%. Yet clear signs of credit stress continue to build throughout global debt markets, despite policies of zero interest rates and massive quantitative easing .

The next two charts show a crucial fact: Liquidity is waning, just as it did prior to the 2007 top. This chart shows a succession of higher highs and higher lows in the junk-to-Treasury spread, which EWFF anticipated last month. In other words, spreads are widening. We have been virtually alone in discussing this “danger ahead” signal.

The divergence relative to the new highs in the Dow has been building since June, when the spread made a low. In 2015, U.S. stocks should catch up to this new trend by declining. The chart shows that the value of the high yield debt of emerging market and energy companies is crashing. It took two years, from mid-2012 to mid-2014, for high yield energy-company bonds to rally 20% and just five months to give it all back.

Bear markets always unfold faster than bull markets. The perceived liquidity in any given market is based on psychology; when it turns from optimism toward increasing pessimism, bids dry up and values collapse. These trends will intensify in 2015.

State of the Global Markets Report

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About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.


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