High Times (First of a Series)

One of our faithful readers emailed the other day: “Hey, I noticed it’s been a while since you wrote about the high-yield market. Would love to get your insights on what’s going on there. Seems like a lot of activity recently. Trying to figure it out. Thanks.”

Help is on the way. For assistance, we recruited Matthew Fuller of LevFin Insights, our content partner for all things high-yield.

Matt, give a sense of that market from your perch. “From the perspective of high-yield investors, it’s a great time to be involved,” he told us in an interview this week. “We were pretty much shut down in March. Total volume was only $4 billion, which is very paltry. Zero deals for three weeks. That’s shocking, but one week shorter than December 2018, which marked the lowest volume since the GFC.

“Then in April it all came roaring back. We went from $4 billion to $44 billion. That was the most activity since March 2017. And while primary issuance was frothy, the secondary market went sideways.