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Municipal high yields, thus far in 2012, continue to be priced at attractive spreads....Looking forward, I believe that investment grade municipals will remain fairly stable given the Federal Reserve's stance. However, given the type of issuers that dominate the muni high yield space (airlines, oil services, paper, chemicals, autos, health care services, etc.), it is my opinion that if the economy improves, then a total return opportunity could be realized in high yield if the two Indices revert to their long-term average relationship of 272 basis points.
Authored by James Colby
A particular saying I used to hear around the office of my first job
was, "let's throw it against the wall and see if it sticks", comparing
the testing of new ideas to the testing of properly cooked spaghetti. I
was reminded of this analogy as I read several recent articles with headlines like "Obama Seeks to Curb Muni Bond Tax Breaks, Again."
Sparing you the minutiae, the recent Obama 2013 budget plan repeats
much of what was originally in the hands of the "Super Committee" last
fall. The committee was charged with repairing the deficit, and its
guidelines included initiatives to reduce, if not completely repeal,
the tax benefits currently offered by municipal bonds.
As I anticipate another season of "America's Favorite Pastime," I cannot help but feel that the past two months of strong performance for municipals will likely level out into a more traditional pattern, much like when reality meets expectations with spring baseball. I think demand-generated performance will very likely be met with an elevated supply of new muni bonds. This in turn may bring on a slew of news headlines that are likely to moderate the current environment of positive sentiment and, in my view, cause the muni market to correct. Watch my latest video: Muni Health Check 1Q'12 >>
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Please note that the information herein represents the opinion of Jim Colby and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Current market conditions may not continue. Non-Van Eck Global proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Van Eck Global. © 2014 Van Eck Securities Corporation. MUNI NATION is a trademark of Van Eck Associates Corporation.
All indices listed are unmanaged indices and do not reflect the payment of transaction costs, advisory fees or expenses that are associated with an investment in the Fund. An index’s performance is not illustrative of the Fund’s performance. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made.
Any discussion of specific securities mentioned in the commentary is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities.
Municipal bonds are subject to risks related to litigation, legislation, political change, conditions in underlying sectors or in local business communities and economies, bankruptcy or other changes in the issuer’s financial condition, and/or the discontinuance of taxes supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. Additional risks include credit, interest rate, call, reinvestment, tax, market and lease obligation risk. High-yield municipal bonds are subject to greater risk of loss of income and principal than higher-rated securities, and are likely to be more sensitive to adverse economic changes or individual municipal developments than those of higher-rated securities. Municipal bonds may be less liquid than taxable bonds.
The income generated from some types of municipal bonds may be subject to state and local taxes as well as to federal taxes on capital gains and may also be subject to alternative minimum tax.
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