In the fixed-income markets, traders are betting that the Federal Reserve has finished hiking interest rates, but they are unsure whether this won’t still collapse the US economy. It’s all fear and greed. One example would be the market for businesses with low ratings.
With signs that the Fed rate-hiking cycle may have crested in recent days, investors have become more eager to reintroduce themselves to junk-rated bonds.
But they are going only as far as the safest bets in the junk category, bonds rated BB and B. The riskiest credits, rated CCC or below, are still shunned.
“There is a tug of war between those who believe the Fed is engineering a soft landing and those who are still fearful that a recession is going to result from such aggressive tightening,” said Edward Marrinan, credit strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Americas.