Monday, May 11, 2009

Loans Versus Bonds Relative Value: Week Of May 7

Heat seeking in both bonds and loans was the dominant theme, with the usual suspects continuing to rip. Comparing current levels on garbage credits like Neiman Marcus, Sealy and TRW with their spreads 3 months ago and one can only question the sanity of even the credit market. Unlike last week when there were just three Fox Two instances, targeted at Huntsman, Graham Packaging and Neiman Marcus, this past week's IR-signature tracking selection is broader and even junkier.

"Solid" names like Compucom, Huntsman, Neiman Marcus, Sealy and TRW continued their ripfest tighter in bond land, and in many instances, in loans as well, while Aeroflex loans where the best relative secured performer. The only bonds widening in the entire 30 name universe were those of Michael Foods, and Constellation Brands - obviously consumer staples have every right to be seen as the riskiest last week when the rolling squeeze among garbage credits was doing all it could to flatter the equity markets.

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