The recent surge in coronavirus infections is causing renewed concerns about economic growth and is likely exerting an indirect effect on the bond market, increasing the yield on low-rated/high-yield corporate bonds relative to the guaranteed yield of U.S. Treasury bonds.
Concerns over economic growth are showing up in the high-yield debt markets.
When the market becomes concerned about the growth and viability of corporations, it requires a risk premium on securities that are below investment grade — what were once referred to as “junk bonds” — and investors require a higher rate of return to hold those bonds.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, the risk premium has increased by 50 basis points in the just the last week.
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.