Results for "municipal bonds"

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Muni bond investing is becoming a minefield

October 21, 2012

Municipal bonds have long been viewed as a staple asset class for conservative, income-seeking investors. Munis are a large, liquid market of credit-rated securities that provide federal-tax-exempt income to millions of American investors. Towns,...

The muni minefield

October 16, 2012

Municipal bonds have long been viewed as a staple asset class for conservative, income-seeking investors. Munis are a large, liquid market of credit-rated securities that provide tax-exempt (from Federal taxes) income to millions of American...

Cali-fragile list: 30 more cities

October 14, 2012

Moody's Investors Service Inc. last week warned that the debt of 30 California cities could be downgraded because of rising costs and “rigid revenue-raising constraints.” Included on the list for a possible downgrade were Fresno, Long Beach,...

Finding gems in the muni bond market

September 18, 2012

Municipal bond yields have sunk to near historic lows. Sector and quality spreads continue to narrow. To date, municipal bond performance is on pace with that of last year's. In my opinion, this has been driven by returning confidence in municipal...

Obama targets muni bond tax exemption for those who earn more than $200K

September 25, 2011

President Barack Obama's plan to cut the budget deficit repeats his call for curbing the tax exemption on municipal bonds and would give states a break on unemployment debts owed the federal government. The recommendation includes tax overhauls...

Chart of the day: Why munis now

July 31, 2012

As shown in the chart (above), the yield spread between investment grade AAA and BBB municipal bonds was 214 bps at the end of June. If this relationship narrows to its long-term average (132 bps), investors could potentially realize 82 bps...

Vanguard fires another shot in ETF fee war

July 24, 2012

Vanguard Group Inc. will be the first to tell you that it isn't in the midst of an ETF fee war, but to its competitors it sure must feel that way. Vanguard filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday to offer a short-term Treasury...

Weighing if San Bernardino portends a filings flood

July 15, 2012

As the city of San Bernardino, Calif., teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, some see the glass as half empty, while others see the glass as three-quarters empty. “In the state of California, you're going to see a lot more municipalities file...

New Fidelity funds meld target date portfolios, muni bonds

June 22, 2011

Fidelity Investments is marrying the concepts of target date portfolios and municipal-bond investing with the launch of a series of funds today. The Fidelity Defined Maturity Funds are four municipal-bond portfolios with maturity dates ranging...

Finra orders Citigroup to pay $51M to muni fund investors

April 12, 2011

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank, was ordered to pay more than $51 million to a group of investors in its MAT and ASTA municipal-bond hedge funds, which regulators began examining more than two years ago. The ruling by arbitrators...

Finra panel: David Lerner Associates sold marked-up munis

April 8, 2012

Brokerage firm David Lerner Associates Inc. was ordered to pay more than $3.7 million in fines and restitution for overcharging retail customers on sales of more than 1,500 municipal bonds and 1,700 transactions involving collateralized-mortgage...

Southwest hit with $500K fine

March 13, 2011

Southwest Securities Inc. will pay $500,000 to resolve Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. claims that the firm violated Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules by using paid consultants to solicit business. The unit of SWS Group...

Plan under way to up muni bond disclosure — but will it help?

March 3, 2011

With criticism mounting about the lack of disclosure in the municipal bond market, the agency that oversees the sale of municipal securities is working on initiatives designed to encourage broker-dealers and issuers to provide more information...

Regulators probe muni bond conflicts of interest

January 25, 2011

Regulators are clamping down on municipal bond issuers that made political contributions to public officials in states where they have underwritten bonds. On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed documents from the Massachusetts...

Chart of the day: High yield vs. investment grade munis

March 2, 2012

The following is excerpted from commentary by James Colby, senior municipal strategist, fixed Income at Van Eck Global. In his latest commentary, Colby presents a chart showing the yield spreads between high-yield and investment grade munis,...

Tax-exempt bonds headed for truly rotten quarter

December 29, 2010

Tax-exempt municipal bonds are heading for their worst quarterly performance in more than 16 years as yields soared amid a U.S. Treasury selloff and the looming expiration of Build America Bonds. Municipal investments have lost 4.5 percent this...

The state most likely to default? Not California, say swaps

December 28, 2010

The cost of insuring Illinois's bonds against default rose to the highest level in five months as the state headed for the new year without a plan to finance a $3.7 billion pension-fund contribution. The cost of credit-default swap insurance...

Bill Gross bets big on muni bonds

December 14, 2010

Bill Gross, the co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., spent $4.4 million of his own money this month to purchase shares of five municipal-bond funds run by his firm after tax-exempt debt tumbled. Gross, 66, who manages...

BAB grab likely to keep muni market roiling

December 12, 2010

The municipal bond market is likely to be even more confounding over the next few weeks as investors, and state and local borrowers, continue to rush to take advantage of the Build America Bond program, which is set to expire at the end of the...

Great stocking stuffers: Muni bonds

December 7, 2010

Wealthy U.S. investors may be able to buy municipal bonds at some of the highest yields in seven months as issuers rush to borrow before year end. Yields on the second-highest-rated municipal debt were at levels not reached since May, according...

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