Quality junk

chart of the month

The high-yield market has come under considerable pressure lately, with mutual funds suffering substantial outflows and a less than accommodating primary issue market. But this slow down comes after a period of healthy supply in the junk arena, which could herald marked deterioration in default rates as the market progresses.

The chart below, provided by Stephen Peacher, chief investment officer at Putnam Investments, shows that during periods of high issuance in the credit cycle, the quality of

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