Because of the market’s volatility in recent weeks, investors are more skittish. One area where they haven’t lost interest is the corporate bond exchange traded fund (ETF) market, which has helped push corporations to record levels of cash.U.S. companies are holding more cash in the bank than at any point on record, thanks to renewed confidence in corporate bonds. Although companies have the cash needed to hire or expand, they are timid to spend it while there’s so much doubt about the economic recovery’s pace. [New International Corporate Bond ETFs.]

Having money to spend but not using it is coming at a price, says Justin Lahart for The Wall Street Journal. That cash is earning next to no interest, which in the long run will make it a challenge to generate the returns that shareholders expect. That means sooner than later, those corporations will have to let the cash go to work. [5 ETFs Where You Can Find Income.]

In the end, companies who are willing to part with their cash will help determine the strength of the economy’s recovery. That cash could generate jobs, which will in turn support consumer spending.

For more stories about corporate bonds, visit our bond ETF category.

  • PowerShares High-Yield Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: PHB)

  • Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: VCSH)