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Note: This article is part of the ETF Strategist Channel By Justin Sibears Broadly speaking, total returns for most asset classes can be broken into two components: income and capital appreciation. For large-cap domestic equities, both sources of return look to be constrained for the coming decade. As of March, the S&P 500’s dividend yield was […]

High-yield, speculative-grade bond exchange traded funds are attracting billions of dollars as market volatility dissipates and investors look to capitalize on cheaper valuations in riskier assets after the recent sell-off. Investors funneled $2 billion into funds in high-yield and high-yield municipal debt peer groups over February, Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Global Market Intelligence Director of ETF […]

As people digest the changing Federal Reserve outlook, fixed-income investors may want to hold onto their municipal debt and bond-related exchange traded fund positions. “One area of the U.S. bond market that does merit attention is the municipal market,” according to Russ Koesterich, Global Chief Investment Strategist and Head of the Model Portfolio & Solutions […]

Even with mounting concern over Puerto Rico’s ability to repay debt obligations and ongoing speculation about when the Federal Reserve will finally increase interest rates, municipal exchange traded and mutual funds remain popular with investors. The munis market has been pressured this year by rising new issues, or greater supply, but Christopher Alwine, head of […]

Mounting concern over Puerto Rico’s ability to repay debt obligations could continue to add to volatility in high-yield municipal bond exchange traded funds. High-yield munis dropped off in late June on Puerto Rico default fears but has traded higher since, along with the broader markets. Over the past week, the Market Vectors High Yield Municipal […]

Greece or Puerto Rico. Investors have their pick of default poison, but investors in fixed income exchange traded and mutual funds would do well to monitor goings on in Puerto Rico because the U.S. territory’s imminent default could affect some well-known municipal bond funds. So dire is the situation in Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro García […]

With Greece captivating investors’ attention today, the reaction to Puerto Rico’s debt troubles might just be “Oh yeah, Puerto Rico is about to default.” That does not change the fact the U.S. territory cannot pay $72 billion in debts. So dire is the situation in Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla told the New York […]

Earlier this week, Moody’s Investors Service lowered Chicago’s credit rating to junk status after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against a state pension reform plan. Moody’s says Chicago’s public pension plan is underfunded by $20 billion, but some high-yield municipal bond exchange traded funds have remained durable in the face of the Chicago controversy. For […]

Another round of financing problems in Puerto Rico could shake the municipal debt market and bond-related exchange traded funds. According to the island’s Government Development Bank, the government could run out of cash by the end of September and could execute emergency measures, such as holding debt repayments, reports Edward Krudy for Reuters. Specifically, the […]

Speculation that the Federal Reserve is close to raising interest rates is not chasing investors from fixed income exchange traded funds. Investors added $35.7 billion to bond ETFs in the first quarter. Municipal bond funds got in on the action. In the first quarter 2015, investors put $1.4 billion of fresh money into municipal bond […]

Even with the specter of higher interest rates looming, some investors are not shying away from municipal bond exchange traded funds. To this point, 2015 has been a banner year for inflows to fixed income ETFs and data indicate muni ETFs are getting in on that action. Investors “have added about $1 billion to ETFs […]

Fixed income exchange traded funds are coming off a record year of asset gathering that saw two bond funds rank among the top 10 ETFs for added assets. To start 2015, municipal bond funds are keeping the torch burning for bond ETFs. “While investors pulled $4.9 billion out of taxable bond mutual funds in the […]

The shrinking municipal bonds market helped munis-related exchange traded funds outperform in the fixed-income space in 2014. However, the favorable supply and demand dynamics may be about to change and begin holding back the munis market. Over the past year, the iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: MUB) rose 8.7%, SPDR Nuveen Barclays Municipal […]

The municipal bond market and related exchange traded funds will continue to benefit from the supply-demand but investors could see short-term volatility from default speculation, notably in Puerto Rican debt. “I think the tailwinds are still very positive for municipal bonds,” Jim Colby, portfolio manager for Market Vectors’s suite of municipal bond ETFs, said on […]

After posting one of their best annual gains since 2011, municipal debt securities, along with related exchange traded funds, may begin to slow down. The iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: MUB) has increased 9.0% year-to-date and gained 10.3% over the past year. [MuniNation: Crosscurrents May Benefit Municipals] Now, PIMCO and Morgan Stanley warn […]

Despite Puerto Rico debt restructuring concerns, ongoing debt settlement talks in Detroit and elevated fears of additional public pension-induced municipal bankruptcies in other parts of the U.S., municipal bond ETFs have been solid performers in 2014. That includes the high-yield variety, such as the Market Vectors High Yield Municipal Index ETF (NYSEArca: HYD). Muni bond […]

Despite the Puerto Rico debt restructuring concerns, municipal bond exchange traded funds could still advance as new issuance falls to a 13 year low. Over the past month, the iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: MUB) and SPDR Nuveen Barclays Municipal Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TFI) are 0.3% higher. Year-to-date, the two ETFs have gained […]

Passively managed exchange traded funds usually do not make wholesale changes to their portfolios. Most of the underlying indices for passive ETFs rebalance quarterly and even then, holding and sector changes often boil down to just a few basis points. However, there are circumstances where issuers of passive ETFs opt to take a more active […]

Municipal bonds, along with related exchange traded funds, are trading at their deepest discount to U.S. Treasuries in four months after another round of debt concerns over Puerto Rico’s finances sparked a sell-off in muni funds. High-yield muni ETFs suffered the brunt of the blow, with the Market Vectors High Yield Municipal Index ETF (NYSEArca: […]

Fixed-income exchange traded fund investors have been hearing about the rate risk in long-term bonds, but now some are sounding the alarm on short-duration debt. “Last year, we were concerned primarily with reducing interest-rate risk by selling high grade (largely AAA and AA-rated) long-maturity municipal bonds and reinvesting in a combination of intermediate-term, investment-grade municipal […]

I do the “ETF of the Week” for MarketWatch every Thursday on Chuck Jaffe’s MoneyLife Show where I highlight big movers and disappointments among exchange traded funds. On Thursday, I focused on the Market Vectors High-Yield Municipal Index ETF (NYSEArca: HYD). Despite recent municipal defaults, tax-exempt muni debt can provide investors with attractive yields and […]

After the Detroit’s bankruptcy hindered demand, municipal bonds, along with related exchange traded funds, are posting robust gains on huge inflows. Year-to-date, the iShares S&P National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (NYSEArca: MUB) is up 6.3%, SPDR Nuveen Barclays Municipal Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TFI) rose 6.4% and Market Vectors Intermediate Municipal Index ETF (NYSEArca: ITM) increased […]

High-yield municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds have been rallying alongside the strongest run-up in speculative debt since 2009, and now, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is sounding a warning. Michael Zezas, chief muni strategist at Morgan Stanley, argued that the outlook for speculative-grade bonds to continue to beat the market is diminishing, Bloomberg reports. […]

After a sluggish start to the year, inflows to exchange traded products are showing signs of life in the second quarter with the top-10 asset gainers including bond, emerging markets and sector funds. “After a very choppy first quarter of 2014, U.S. listed exchange traded funds have found their footing through the first half of […]

Increased tensions in Eastern Europe sent U.S. stocks tumbling Friday with the Nasdaq the worst offender among the major U.S. indices with a loss of nearly 2%. For the week the S&P 500 closed modestly lower. With the U.S. and Western allies threatening additional sanctions against Russia as a result of its actions in Ukraine, […]

Municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds have been among the top performers in the fixed income space this year as declining Treasury yields have lifted muni bonds following last year’s decline at the hands of surging Treasury yields. Those falling Treasury yields and a strengthening U.S. economy are encouraging investors to hunt for higher […]

In the fixed-income market, investors may find that municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds are a more attractive play than Treasuries or corporate debt. “Overall, municipal bonds maintain their high-quality appeal and continue to look attractive versus both Treasuries and corporate bonds,” according to BlackRock. “We’re seeing competitive yields on a before-tax basis—which only […]

Municipal bonds and related exchange traded funds have been one of the best performing assets in the fixed-income space as attractive yields and shortage in supply bolster prices. However, munis could begin to cool if interest rates rise later this year. Muni ETFs have bee outperforming Treasury funds with similar duration exposure. For instance, the […]

After three credit ratings agencies downgraded the commonwealth territory, Puerto Rico municipal bonds have rallied and is now offering $3 billion in bonds. Investors interested in gaining exposure to Puerto Rican debt can take a look at a couple high-yield municipal bond exchange traded funds. Puerto Rico is offering $3 billion in general-obligation municipal bonds […]

Although investors in municipal bond exchange traded funds have recently faced headwinds at the hands of deepening public pension crises across the U.S., the Detroit bankruptcy and financial distress in Puerto Rico, some market participants still believe there is room for munis in the portfolios of conservative, income-minded investors. “Detroit and Puerto Rico make for […]