The 5% yield barrier on junk bonds (HYG, JNK) is broken for the first time ever, the Barclays...

|By:, SA News Editor

The 5% yield barrier on junk bonds (HYG, JNK) is broken for the first time ever, the Barclays U.S. High Yield Index sliding to 4.97% (prior to Jan., the yield had never fallen below 6%). Spreads to Treasurys remain at a not-unreasonable 406 bps, far wider than the record-tight 223 points reached just as the gates of financial heck were about to open in 2007. In the meantime, the equity of highly non-wobbly companies like RDS.A, VOD, and GSK yields in the area of 5%. "We don't want to question the market," writes the FT's David Keohane, "but: what the (heck)?"