Market Analysis

Provided by BlackRock®
  • Municipal Market Update: Muni bonds maintain their strength (PDF)

    August 2018

    July was the third consecutive month of positive muni market performance. Net negative supply, typically seen in July, was particularly strong this year. Our outlook for the fall is cautious given rich valuations and seasonal expectations.

  • Fixed Income Market Strategy: The flattening that really matters (PDF)

    August 2018

    The flattening U.S. yield curve is in the spotlight. Is the curve set to invert - and foreshadow a recession as it often has in the past? We explain why comparisons with past flattening episodes may be a case of apples and oranges.

  • Global Investment Outlook: Midyear 2018 (PDF)

    July 2018

    We refresh our 2018 investment themes against a backdrop of steady global growth and strong corporate earnings, but rising uncertainty in the macro outlook. We highlight key debates from our recent Outlook Forum, such as the implications of trade tensions.

  • Global Macro Outlook: Macro uncertainty on the rise (PDF)

    March 2018

    We see greater economic uncertainty ahead after a stretch of unusual calm. Hefty U.S. fiscal stimulus brings positives but also a wider array of possible outcomes - especially the risk of overheating and an inflation overshoot.

Although bonds generally present less short-term risk and volatility than stocks, the bond market is volatile and investing in bond funds involves interest rate risk; as interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is more pronounced for longer-term securities. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible. Bond funds also entail issuer and counterparty credit risk, and the risk of default (the risk that an issuer or counterparty will be unable to make income or principal payments). Additionally, bond funds and short-term investments generally involve greater inflation risk than stocks, since investment returns may not keep up with increases in the prices of goods and services. Any fixed-income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to a substantial gain or loss.