Chasing beta

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This chart supplied by Merrill Lynch shows how closely different sectors follow the broader market. This idea, usually referred to as beta (or how much a credit or sector responds to a movement in a wider index), is frequently discussed by credit and equity investors.

“At the start of the year everyone was talking about seeking out the higher-beta sectors and names to outperform,” says Barnaby Martin, credit strategist at Merrill Lynch. However, beta is often spoken about in general terms: for

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