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I've taken a little liberty with a familiar saying to suggest that for municipals, I am not booking my three-month summer vacation just yet. Month-to-date and year-to-date performance of all muni high-yield bond sectors (with the exception of tobacco) has been positive. The technicals of demand overpowering supply, which I've previously written about, are still in place.
Authored by James Colby
Muni High Yield has been a top-performing segment among municipal bonds, with a total return of 7.75% YTD through April 30, 2012, for Barclays Municipal High Yield Index1. I believe that the dynamic which has propelled performance in the investment grade muni market is also at play for muni high yield: demand is overwhelming supply.
The municipal bond market has experienced a significant rally — slow but steady — for nearly three weeks. Supportive data and technicals have pushed the market higher. Despite spreads which point at municipals as a value purchase, surprise news (i.e., Meredith Whitney's prediction of mass defaults in 2010) can erect barriers to further advances. Recently, the market had to digest commentary discussing:
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Please note that MUNI NATIONs that are written by Jim Colby represent his opinions and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. MUNI NATION is 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. MUNI NATION is a trademark of Van Eck Associates Corporation.
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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.
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