BondBloxx Monthly Update - August 2023 | ETF Trends

Check out our August fixed income market update, brought to you by Elya Schwartzman, JoAnne Bianco, and the BondBloxx Investment Management team.

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August Overview

  • Fixed income markets took a breather in August, as interest rates rose at the long end of the yield curve (Chart 3), and spreads were modestly wider across investment grade, high yield, and emerging markets (Table 1).
  • Recent statements from the Federal Reserve (“Fed”) indicate a continued commitment to +2.0% inflation even though headline inflation has fallen from +9.0% to +3.0% over the past year.
  • In spite of weaker global growth, including economic data out of China, oil prices have risen since June, due to product cutbacks from Saudi Arabia and Russia. This makes the Fed’s inflation fight more difficult, but also hinders growth and consumer demand.
  • In addition to Janet Yellen, several major banks, including Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, have recently reduced their probability that the U.S. experiences a recession over the next 12 months.
  • High yield was the only major fixed income asset class to generate positive performance in August. Year-to-date, high yield has returned +7.2%, significantly outperforming the US Aggregate Index return of +1.4%.
  • The back-up in interest rates, combined with tighter lending conditions, drove equity markets lower, especially in small-cap space, with the Russell 2000 Index down over 5% in August, compared to -1.8% for the S&P 500.

Glossary and Index Definitions

  • Credit Spread: the difference in yield between a debt security and its benchmark measured in basis points
  • OAS: Option Adjusted Spread. For a bond, the option-adjusted spread is the measurement of the spread between the bond and the underlying government yield curve. For an Index, the average of its constituent security government option-adjusted spreads, weighted by full market value.
  • The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, US-dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market.
  • The Bloomberg A Corporate Index measures the A-rated, fixed-rate, taxable corporate bond market.
  • The Bloomberg BBB Corporate Index measures the BBB-rated, fixed-rate, taxable corporate bond market.
  • The Bloomberg Municipal Bond Index covers the USD-denominated long-term tax-exempt bond market. The index has four main sectors: state and local general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, insured bonds and prefunded bonds.
  • The Bloomberg US Mortgage-Backed Securities Index tracks fixed-rate agency mortgage-backed pass-through securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae (GNMA), Fannie Mae (FNMA), and Freddie Mac (FHLMC).
  • The Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Target Duration Indicesare a suite of 8 indices designed to target a specific duration using US Treasury securities. The 8 durations targeted are 6 Month, 1 Year, 2 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year, 7 Year, 10 Year and 20 Year.
  • The ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated, below investment grade-rated corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market.
  • The ICE BofA Broad Market Index measures the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated, investment grade debt securities, including U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, quasi-government securities, corporate securities, residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities.
  • The ICE BofA U.S. Corporate Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade rated corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market.
  • The ICE BofA U.S. Treasury Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated sovereign debt publicly issued by the U.S. government in its domestic market.
  • The ICE BofA Current 10-year U.S. Treasury Index is a one-security index comprised of the most recently issued 10-year U.S. Treasury note.
  • The ICE Diversified U.S. Cash Pay High Yield Rating Category Indices contain all securities in the ICE BofA U.S. Cash Pay High Yield Index, broken down by their rating categories: BB1-BB3, B1-B3, and CCC1-CCC3. Index constituents are capitalization-weighted, based on their current amount outstanding.
  • The ICE Diversified U.S. Cash Pay High Yield Sector Category Indices contain all securities in the ICE BofA U.S. Cash Pay High Yield Index, broken down by industry including: Industrials; Telecom, Media & Technology; Healthcare; Financial & REIT; Energy; Consumer Cyclicals; Consumer Non-Cyclicals. Index constituents are capitalization-weighted, based on their current amount outstanding.
  • The J.P. Morgan 1-10 Year Emerging Markets Sovereign Index tracks liquid, U.S. dollar emerging market fixed and floating-rate debt instruments issued by sovereign and quasi sovereign entities. The EMBIGDL 1-10 Index is based on the long-established J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified Index and follows it methodology closely, but only includes securities with at least $1 billion in face amount outstanding and average life below 10 years.
  • The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and international based common type stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, including over 2,500 companies, An investment can not be made in an index.
  • The Russell 2000 Index is a small-cap U.S. stock market index that makes up the smallest 2,000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which is a capitalization-weighted stock market index that seeks to be a benchmark of the entire U.S. stock market.
  • The S&P 500 Index tracks the performance of 500 leading large-cap U.S. equities and covers approximately 80% of available market capitalization.

There are risks associated with investing, including possible loss of principal. Fixed income investments are subject to interest rate risk; their value will normally decline as interest rates rise. Fixed income investments are also subject to credit risk, the risk that the issuer of a bond will fail to pay interest and principal in a timely manner, or that negative perceptions of the issuer’s ability to make such payments will cause the price of that bond to decline. Securities that are rated below investment-grade (sometimes referred to as “junk bonds”) be deemed speculative, may involve greater levels of risk than higher-rated securities of similar maturity and may be more likely to default. Investing in mortgage- and asset ­backed securities involves interest rate, credit, valuation, extension and liquidity risks and the risk that payments on the underlying assets are delayed, prepaid, subordinated or defaulted on.

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BondBloxx Investment Management Corporation (“BondBloxx”) is a registered investment adviser. The content of this presentation is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice. Not for distribution to the public.

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Bond ratings are grades given to bonds that indicate their credit quality as determined by private independent ratings services, such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. These firms evaluate a bond issuer’s financial strength or it’s ability to pay a bond’s principal and interest in a timely fashion. Ratings are expressed as letters ranging from ‘AAA’, which are the highest grade, to ‘D’, which is the lowest grade.

Index performance is not illustrative of fund performance. One cannot invest directly in an index. Please visit for fund performance.

Index performance is not illustrative of fund performance. One cannot invest directly in an index. Please visit for fund performance.