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US high-yield issuance sets new records, with Fed at market's back

The Fed's recent bond-buying bulletin stoked already red-hot conditions for the U.S. high-yield market, contributing to record-smashing volume of issuance last week and a monthly record for June.

Deals that printed on Friday for Eldorado Resorts Inc. ($5.2 billion) and Caesars Entertainment Corp. ($1 billion), backing the combination of the two entities, boosted last week’s issuance to $23.53 billion, blowing past the prior record of $21.6 billion for the week to Aug. 13, 2010, per LCD, which began tracking this asset class in 2005.

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Last week's 31 tranches of new debt propelled the June issuance total (through June 19) to $47.4 billion. The prior full-month peak for June was $29.3 billion in 2014.

MORE HIGH YIELD ANALYSIS: Market expert Martin Fridson on the role of bond ratings in the recent, dramatic stock rebound.

The $700 million issue of senior notes for CommScope Holding Co. Inc. on June 22 pushed high-yield bond volume this month to $48.1 billion, surpassing the prior full-month record of $47.7 billion, recorded in September 2013.

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Blockbuster June totals follow on May’s $43.8 billion figure — a record total for a May period.

Volume through June 22 in 2020 is $201 billion, 65% ahead of the 2019 pace, and already more than the roughly $169 billion that issuers placed over all of 2018.

This article was written by John Atkins, who covers high-yield and investment-grade bonds for LCD.