Additionally, the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: JNK) was up 2.1% and iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG) was 1.3% higher so far this year. [Junk Bond ETFs: Corporate America Better Positioned to Weather Storms]

However, there is growing concern that these fixed-income ETFs could experience liquidity problems in a rising rate environment. [Junk Bond ETFs Attract More Inflows Despite Potential Risks]

“Given the significant growth of these comparatively illiquid categories over the past several years, market participants have raised concerns over a potential liquidity crunch if investors rush to redeem high-yield fund assets en masse as rates march higher,” Gabriel warned. “It remains to be seen if the market will be able to unwind in an orderly fashion if there is in fact a rush to unload high-yield credits.”

For more information on high-yield debt, visit our high-yield bonds category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.