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December 2018

Our subject matter experts discuss the use of credit risk measures in evaluating firms to determine tendencies in performance in comparison to their peers in the S&P 500 universe.

In early October, equity markets suffered their second major correction this year and their worst fall in more than eight months. Rising yields in particular increase the potential for equity volatility.

Our subject matter experts demonstrate that firms with high credit quality risk and high default risk tend to underperform their peers in the S&P 500 universe on average, especially seen in the tech sector over the last two years. Our experts also show how CreditEdge factor-based strategies have tended to succeed in particular during flattening yield curve environments, with the performance of the low credit quality risk strategy tending to be more insulated to interest rate risk on average.

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Weekly Market Outlook: Riskier Outlook May Slow Corporate Debt Growth in 2019

The latest version of the Federal Reserve's “Financial Accounts of the United States” was released on March 7. As of 2018's final quarter, the total outstandings of private and public nonfinancial-sector debt grew by 5.1% year-to-year to a record high $51.796 trillion.

March 2019 Pdf John Lonski, Yukyung Choi, Katrina Ell, Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Ryan Sweet, Michael Ferlez
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Weekly Market Outlook: Replay of Late 1998's Drop by Interest Rates May Materialize

Weakness abroad and a faltering demand for U.S. output now put downward pressure on both earnings-sensitive securities' prices and benchmark Treasury yields. The equity and high-yield credit rallies will be put on hold until the earnings outlook stabilizes.

March 2019 Pdf John Lonski, Yukyung Choi, Katrina Ell, Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Ryan Sweet, Michael Ferlez
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Weekly Market Outlook: Moody's Yield Averages Enter Their 100th Year

Two milestones will be arrived at in 2019. First, but not necessarily the foremost, Moody's corporate bond yield averages will record their 100th anniversary in 2019.

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Weekly Market Outlook: High-Yield Might Yet Be Challenged by a Worsened Business Outlook

High-yield bonds have led the credit market in total return thus far in 2019. After soaring from 6.32% at the end of September to 8.06% by year-end 2018, a composite speculative-grade bond yield has dropped to February 20's 6.79%.

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Weekly Market Outlook: Default Outlook Again Defies Unmatched Ratio of Corporate Debt to GDP

In terms of a moving yearlong average, U.S. nonfinancial corporate debt rose to a record high 46.0% of GDP as of the span-ended September 2018. Nonfinancial corporate debt's 6.4% year-over-year increase for the 12-months-ended September 2018 outran nominal GDP's comparably measured rise of 5.0%.

February 2019 Pdf John Lonski, Yukyung Choi, Katrina Ell, Barbara Teixeira Araujo, Ryan Sweet, Michael Ferlez
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Moody's Analytics Webinar: Topics@CreditEdge Navigating Choppy Markets - Focus on Asia

Since the Asia crisis, most countries in Asia have displayed a longer term secular trend of falling default risk.

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Weekly Market Outlook: Equity Analysts' Confidence Contrasts With Economists' Skepticism

Notwithstanding January's bigger-than-expected addition to payrolls, the futures market recently assigned a mere 3% probability to a hiking of fed funds at any point in 2019.

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Weekly Market Outlook: Fed's Pause May Refresh a Tiring Economic Recovery

As high ranking Federal Reserve officials reiterated many times earlier, monetary policy is not on a preset course.

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Weekly Market Outlook: Rising Default Rate May Be Difficult to Cap

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In 2018's final quarter, the 22 downgrades of U.S. investment-grade companies included nine that were at least partly ascribed to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and three that were linked to equity buybacks. Only half, or 11, of fourth-quarter 2018's U.S. investment-grade downgrades were primarily driven by worsened operating or market fundamentals.

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