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Data: Investing.com: Chart: Axios Visuals

The Fed has not yet begun buying corporate bonds through its announced special facilities, but just by announcing plans to take action has sparked rallies in bonds across the spectrum and improved market functioning.

Yes, but: "The Fed’s aggressive actions have benefited the markets in the short term. Longer term, however, we think there will be downgrades, defaults, and bankruptcies, particularly among companies that came into the downturn with high leverage," warns Ruta Ziverte, head of fixed income for William Blair.

  • With corporate debt markets again functioning smoothly, she expects to see a significant increase in bond issuance "as companies see their earnings decrease and sell more debt to raise funds," she says in a blog post.
  • "We expect this to result in more downgrades ... across the full ratings spectrum."

What's happening: More than $120 billion of investment-grade bonds have been downgraded to junk status this year, and approximately $300 billion of the lowest-rated investment-grade bonds are on watch for downgrades or have negative outlooks, Ziverte notes.

  • "We estimate that as much as $200 billion of debt (about 3.7% of the investment-grade market) could be downgraded over the next 12 to 18 months."

Go deeper: Fed commits to "whatever it takes" to help economy vs. coronavirus

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.