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Jul. 11, 2014, 1:59 AM
- U.S. municipal bond funds had some of the biggest outflows since January, after investors pulled out $790M in the week ended July 9. $691M of the outflows was in the high-yield sector, being withdrawn due to default concerns of Puerto Rican debt.
- Adding to the worries is Puerto Rico's newest law which allows for public corporations to restructure their debt. The new law pushed ratings agencies last week to downgrade the commonwealth's bonds even lower within junk territory.
- Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index, up more than 9.5% in mid-June, was up less than 5.5% this past Wednesday.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, HYMB, ITM, MLN, SHM, CMF, XMPT, BABZ, BABS, PRB, SHYD, SMB, NYF, PZT, SUB, PWZ, CXA, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, VRD, MUAD, MUAE, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, RVNU, MUAH, FMB
Jul. 7, 2014, 1:45 PM
- As detailed in a recent regulatory filing, Invesco Powershares will update the names and underlying indexes for 3 of its 4 municipal bond ETFs on July 8th.
- The PowerShares Insured California Municipal Bond Portfolio (PWZ) will be renamed to the PowerShares California AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch California Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- The PowerShares Insured National Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZA) will be renamed to the PowerShares National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch National Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- The PowerShares Insured New York Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZT) will be renamed to the PowerShares New York AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch New York Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- Other CA, NY and national municipal bond ETFs: PZT, NYF, INY, MUB, PZA, TFI, CMF, XMPT, PRB, PWZ, CXA, PVI, VRD, RVNU, FMB
Jul. 1, 2014, 11:31 AM
Jun. 27, 2014, 11:48 AM
- Losing $403M in funds last week according to Lipper, loan funds (also known as leveraged loans, senior loans, bank loans) saw their 7th consecutive week of outflows - this after a 95-week streak of inflows going back to June 2012. Popular for not just their yields, but the adjustable nature of said yields, a little digging finds the variable nature is tied to Libor - which won't rise until the Fed actually hikes. Further, most loans have Libor floors, which means their rates won't rise until Libor has moved about 75 basis points.
- ETFs: BKLN, SRLN, SNLN, FTSL
- Municipal funds and ETFs, however, saw their eighth consecutive week of inflows, taking in $234M last week. ICI data show even bigger gains, with $798M of inflows last week vs. $805M the week prior.
- ETFs: MUB, PZA, TFI, XMPT, PRB, PVI, VRD, RVNU, FMB
Jun. 24, 2014, 3:14 PM
- Acknowledging recent heavier municipal issuance of late has been met by solid demand, Citi nevertheless sees "significant reasons for concern," notably anemic muni bond fund flows. With issuance continuing on the heavy side, the team wonders about the capacity of the market to hold unless fund flows rebound. Toss in possibly rising Treasury yields and the effect could be magnified.
- "We are not, however, suggesting that a very sharp selloff is likely," says Citi noting a huge amount of cash on the sidelines waiting to buy on any significant rebound in yields.
- ETFs: MUB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, MLN, SHM, XMPT, PRB, SMB, SUB, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, VRD, MUAE, GMMB, MUAD, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, RVNU, FMB
Jun. 16, 2014, 3:21 PM
- Moody's boosts New York's credit rating by a notch to Aa1 with stable outlook from Aa2 with positive, reflecting "sustained improvements in fiscal governance, the strength of the recent economic recovery, a strong financial position reflected in improved reserves, and reduced spending growth in line with growth in the state’s economic capacity."
- "The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the state will preserve and improve upon the gains it has made in governance and its financial position."
- ETFs: MUB, PZA, TFI, XMPT, PRB, NYF, PZT, PVI, INY, VRD, RVNU, FMB
Jun. 3, 2014, 3:33 PM
- Issuers have scheduled $11.7B of long-term sales over the next month - the busiest pace in three months - and it's a good thing as investors are about to get the most cash ($104B) in two years from June through August from debt payments, according to JPMorgan's Peter DeGroot.
- The funds received will exceed issuance by about $23B over those months, according to DeGroot, helping to extend munis' best first half rally since 2009.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, SMB, NYF, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, VRD, MUAD, MUAE, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, RVNU, MUAH, FMB
Jun. 2, 2014, 2:20 PM
May 30, 2014, 2:47 AM
- Municipal-bond prices have soared so far in 2014, compared to the same time one year ago. 2013 was the markets worst year in almost two decades, after registering losses nationwide - ranging from Detroit's municipal bankruptcy-protection filing to pension costs in Illinois.
- The revival of the $3.7T municipal-bond market comes as bond buyers attempt to find higher investment returns amid dropping U.S. interest rates.
- Investors have also poured $3.1B into municipal-bond mutual funds this year, compared with $2.9Bn over the same period in 2013.
- Municipal bonds have returned 5.8% in 2014, reflecting interest payments and price appreciation.
- Yields on municipal debt fell to 2.3% this past Wednesday, which was their lowest in almost a year. Yields fall when prices rise.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, SMB, NYF, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAD, VRD, MUAE, MUAG, MUAC, GMMB, FMB, RVNU, MUAH
May 23, 2014, 10:52 AM
- 2013 produced the slowest annual rate of municipal debt growth in 20 years, says Moody's, which expects the trend to continue this year. The trend "reflects a new conservative attitude toward debt among the states," says analyst Kimberly Lyons.
- The slow pace of borrowing led to a decline in net-tax support debt (NTSD) per capita to $1,054 from $1,074 in 2012.
- In other news, municipal bond funds posted their third straight week of big inflows, adding $664M in the week ended on Wednesday (previous weeks saw $616M and $943M of inflows).
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, NYF, SMB, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAD, VRD, MUAE, MUAG, MUAC, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU, FMB
May 15, 2014, 4:04 PM
- “A lot of the opportunities have been washed away in the last month and a half,” says BNY Mellon fixed income director John Flahive. “There really isn’t much out there.”
- The muni market is ahead 6.2% YTD, its strongest start since 2009, and benchmark 10-year muni yields have dipped to 2.29%. At work is the general rally in fixed income coupled with a decline in issuance.
- The fund has about $961M in assets vs. an original target size of $1B, and has beaten 83% of peers over the past five years.
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, NYF, SHYD, SMB, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, RVNU
May 12, 2014, 4:30 AM
- Stockton is due in court today for a four-day hearing today in which the bankrupt Californian city will attempt to win approval for a plan to pay creditor Franklin Resources (BEN) just 1% of the $35M that the company is owed.
- The case is rare, as these types of disputes are usually settled out of court. However, the hearing could presage a much larger showdown involving Detroit and its creditors.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, SMB, SHYD, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, VRD, GMMB, RVNU
May 8, 2014, 12:48 PM
- The First Trust Managed Municipal ETF (FMB) will offer investors current income through municipal bond investments which is exempt from regular federal income taxes.
- According to a statement issued by First Trust: "Recent tax increases have boosted the demand for tax-exempt investments. At the same time, some municipalities have been facing increasing economic challenges, raising the importance of active credit analysis and municipal bond expertise."
- There are currently three other actively managed municipal bond ETFs on the market, all of which feature a focus on maturity: the PIMCO Intermediate Municipal Bond Strategy (MUNI), the Columbia Intermediate Municipal Bond ETF (GMMB) and the PIMCO Short Term Municipal Bond Strategy ETF (SMMU).
- Other municipal bond ETFs: MUB, PZA, TFI, ITM, MLN, SHM, XMPT, PRB, SUB, SMB, PVI, VRD, RVNU
May 1, 2014, 2:21 PM
May 1, 2014, 12:14 PM
- Noting the scale and belatedness of the preliminary fiscal 2014 revenue shortfall and the state's likely use of one-time fixes to paper it over, Fitch downgrades New Jersey's $2.4B in outstanding GO debt to A+ from AA-. The rating also affects about $32B in municipal debt linked to the state's outstanding GO debt.
- The ratings outlook remains negative.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, SHYD, SMB, SMMU, PVI, MUAF, VRD, MUAD, MUAE, MUAG, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU, MUAH
Apr. 27, 2014, 3:47 AM
- Detroit has filed the latest version of its debt-reduction proposal after it forged a deal with representatives of tens of thousands of retired city workers.
- Detroit has agreed to ease healthcare and pension cuts, although retirees will still only receive 10-13% of what they would have originally been given for healthcare.
- The deal "puts the city that much closer to emerging from bankruptcy solvent, more credit worthy and better able to provide basic services to its nearly 700,000 residents," said Emergency Manager Kevin Orr.
- The agreement adds to those that Detroit has formulated with several banks, bond insurers and other retiree groups, boosting the chances of the city receiving approval from its creditors for its restructuring plan. However, some bond insurers and unions still haven't come to an agreement with Detroit.
- A vote on the debt restructure could start next month.
- More on Detroit
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, PZT, SMB, NYF, SHYD, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, GMMB, RVNU
The iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund seeks results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the municipal bond sector of the United States as defined by the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index.
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- In Your Portfolio: Broad U.S. Bond ETFs, A Guide to Municipal Bond ETFs and Closed-End Funds
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