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Municipal bonds thrive despite states' deep economic woes

July 19, 2009

Although state and local governments across the country face staggering budget deficits, their struggles are having little effect on municipal-bond prices. “Since the [second] quarter began, prices are definitely higher,” said Matt Fabian,...

Battered equity boutiques broaden focus to bonds

June 28, 2009

Some well-known equity boutiques have begun offering bond strategies this year, diversifying their portfolios after the market collapse focused attention on the ability of money management companies to cope with severe downturns. In the past...

Two new munis and a swaps recap

June 28, 2009

Through the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the government has created Build America Bonds. These are vehicles through which the federal government subsidizes municipal issues so that issuers can offer investors higher...

MSRB readies new muni disclosure system

June 28, 2009

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's revamped municipal-bond disclosure system, set to go live next month, won't be quite the panacea for disclosure that regulators hope, according to some observers. Once it is operational, the Alexandria,...

Federal backing could mean more buyers and lower interest rates

June 21, 2009

The federal government is the only potential guarantor whose backing would significantly lower local borrowing costs. Private bond insurers, and other private parties who might provide assurance to investors in new issues, lack financial strength...

Bond market's rally warrants skepticism

June 21, 2009

Investors have responded enthusiastically in recent months to government stimulus plans and signs of renewed economic activity, triggering a resounding risk rally. Since March 9, the U.S. stock and corporate-high-yield-bond markets have enjoyed...

Goldman Sachs launches fund that invests in corporate-credit asset classes

June 16, 2009

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, a unit of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has launched a fund designed to help investors take advantage of the fast-changing credit markets. The Goldman Sachs Credit Strategies Fund (XGCRX) will invest across various...

Junk bond funds' run is expected to hit wall soon

June 7, 2009

The stellar returns that junk bond funds are generating are unsustainable and will come to an end, fund managers and financial advisers agree, but they disagree on when that will be. Year-to-date through last Monday, junk bond funds had risen...

Fortune 500 pension plans shift $1B to bonds

May 26, 2009

Many pension managers are allotting more assets to long-term investment-grade corporate bonds, reported Standish Mellon Asset Management Co. LLC of Boston today. The firm, which is the fixed-income specialist for BNY Mellon Asset Management...

Beware 'bond bear trap,' experts warn the unwary

May 24, 2009

Financial advisers are at risk of getting caught in a classic “bond bear trap” — reaching for yield in a low-interest-rate environment, then getting hammered when rates ultimately rise. “We see this time and time again — when the Fed...

Taking heart, fund managers worldwide to turn toward equities, survey says

May 20, 2009

Most fund managers expect the world economy to improve in the next 12 months, according to a survey released today by Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research, a New York-based unit of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. The...

Bond portfolios that played it safe fared best

May 10, 2009

Safety reigns supreme this year, with managers of long-duration and government bond strategies taking six of the top 10 spots in Morningstar Inc.'s database of separate accounts and collective investment trusts for the year ended March 31. The...

Treasury will auction long bonds monthly

April 29, 2009

The Treasury Department will boost the number of times it auctions 30-year bonds to 12 times a year in another move to cope with the government's soaring debt. The monthly auctions of 30-year bonds follows Treasury's decision just three months...

New Build America Bonds are the hot muni investment

April 26, 2009

A little more than a week after they were first issued, sales of Build America Bonds have reached nearly $10 billion and are climbing. Some estimates anticipate that sales of the federally subsidized taxable municipal bonds could reach $50 billion...

Convertible bonds are enjoying a good run

April 19, 2009

After getting beaten to a pulp last year, convertible bonds are making a comeback. The convertible-bond-fund category as tracked by Morningstar Inc. of Chicago was up 7.66% year-to-date as of last Monday, making it the top-performing bond fund...

Defrauded MBIA investors get $60 million

March 27, 2009

Distributions of $60 million have been made to investors of municipal bond insurer MBIA Inc. of Armonk, N.Y., the Securities and Exchange Commission announced today. The funds were distributed to 20,000 investors who purchased MBIA’s securities...

Managers become bullish on bonds

March 25, 2009

A sign of the times: Portfolio managers are more bullish about bonds than equities for the first time in years, according to a Russell Investments survey. Specifically, of the 228 investment managers polled, 67% said they were bullish on corporate...

E-Trade launches fixed-income tools

March 17, 2009

E*Trade Financial Corp. today announced the launch of a series of online tools aimed at helping its customers select fixed-income products. The new tools include a fixed-income funds selector and a 30-day price history on corporate and municipal...

Despite $30B lifeline, AIG’s credit outlook remains bleak

March 2, 2009

Ratings agencies today painted a bleak outlook for AIG, following news of the insurer’s massive fourth-quarter loss and an additional $30 billion lifeline from the U.S. government. Standard and Poor’s in New York today removed American International...

S&P downgrades 10 insurers

February 27, 2009

Standard and Poor’s yesterday announced ratings downgrades for 10 major life insurers, including Genworth Financial Inc., Lincoln National Corp. and MetLife Inc. The ratings actions follow the New York-based agency’s Feb. 18 announcement that...

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