The major U.S. stock indices have broken out to fresh highs but high-yield corporate bond ETFs have yet to join the party as interest rates rise.
For example, the S&P 500 is up nearly 8% for the trailing three months while iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond (NYSEArca: HYG) has shed about 2%, according to Morningstar.
Since the end of June, HYG has been one of the top-selling ETFs with over $1.3 billion of inflows after the spring sell-off, according to IndexUniverse data.
HYG and SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond (NYSEArca: JNK) are barely positive for 2013 when dividends are included.
Two years ago in the summer of 2011, junk bond ETFs reflected similar weakness against the S&P 500, which ended up falling over 15% from August to October, according to Kimble Charting Solutions.
“Is JNK sending a message to respect? Is this nothing more than bond price declines in a rising interest rate environment? Will it be different this time?” the technical blog muses, adding the high-yield ETF has declined to a key support level worth watching. [Amid Rebound, Cash Pours Into Junk Bond ETFs]