Bond Market Commentary

The Market is Quiet - Because the Fed is Loud?

By Doug Drabik
June 29, 2020

In March, things really heated up. The coronavirus became real, there was a substantial pick up in volatility and spreads (the difference between an investment and a risk-free Treasury) widened. Uncertainty intensified.

Then came the Fed and their willingness to throw their entire arsenal of power at preventing the markets from turning upside down or inside out. We can talk about earnings and ratios and economic releases but their impact is muted or even negated by the Fed’s ability to control proceedings. The Fed has something that no business, no municipality or no individual possesses. It is their ability to create limitless amounts of cash at the ease of a keystroke. As a matter of evidence, absorb the dramatic $3 trillion upsurge in the size of their balance sheet (depicted on the next page) from February ($4.1 trillion to the present $7.1 trillion).

Despite lingering investor uncertainty, there are certain takeaways for investors to deliberate:

The message is uncomplicated: Don’t abandon long term fixed income strategy:

To learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in fixed income, please access the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s “Learn More” section of, FINRA’s “Smart Bond Investing” section of, and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA) “Education Center” section of

The author of this material is a Trader in the Fixed Income Department of Raymond James & Associates (RJA), and is not an Analyst. Any opinions expressed may differ from opinions expressed by other departments of RJA, including our Equity Research Department, and are subject to change without notice. The data and information contained herein was obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but RJA does not guarantee its accuracy and/or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinions expressed constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security referred to herein. This material may include analysis of sectors, securities and/or derivatives that RJA may have positions, long or short, held proprietarily. RJA or its affiliates may execute transactions which may not be consistent with the report’s conclusions. RJA may also have performed investment banking services for the issuers of such securities. Investors should discuss the risks inherent in bonds with their Raymond James Financial Advisor. Risks include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, liquidity, credit quality, volatility, and duration. Past performance is no assurance of future results.

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