Additionally, the rise in the U.S. dollar could hurt exporters and pressure the revenue and profit margins of Corporate America, which may also hurt many companies’ ability to borrow or pay back debt.

Volatility in commodity prices could also lead to downgrades for many companies, especially those with below investment-grade ratings. For instance, the recent volatility in oil prices have weighed on the outlook of many small shale-oil producers. [Junk Bond ETFs: Weighing Value Against Default Risks]

Meanwhile, the rising liquidity risks would also damage more speculative bonds. Without enough buyers in the markets, sellers could see prices plunge even further during a steep sell-off. [Some Bond ETFs May Be Providing The Illusion Of Liquidity]

For more information on the speculative-grade debt market, visit our junk bonds category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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