Data: Fitch Ratings, Bloomberg; Chart: Axios Visuals

The corporate bond bonanza continues in the U.S., as non-financial investment grade corporate bond issuance reached $584 billion through May, ratings agency Fitch said Tuesday.

Why it matters: That was more than double the amount registered over the same time frame in 2019 and is fast approaching the entire amount issued that year, which was the second highest full-year issuance on record.

  • "If issuance continues at the same pace going forward, it will easily top the previous high of $644 billion in 2017," Fitch said in a statement.

By the numbers: The total investment-grade bond universe ended May at $4.4 trillion, up from $4.0 trillion at the end of 2019. The average par weighted coupon was 3.4% compared with 4.1% in 2019 and 5.9% during the 2008 financial crisis, Fitch said.

  • Roughly 85% of this year’s bond volume was issued in March, April and May.
  • Debt in the BBB category, which represents 57% of outstanding investment-grade bonds, made up more than half of the new volume.
  • More than half of the issuance came from the technology, transportation, energy, health/pharmaceutical and utility/power/gas sectors.

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How the Robinhood effect is moving the stock market

Reproduced from BCA Research using Bloomberg data; Table: Axios Visuals

A report from BCA Research published Monday finds Robinhood users are moving into speculative bets at an incredible rate, radically increasing holdings in three groups of stocks — airlines, cruise ships and mortgage REITs.

What's happening: "Retail investors have provided institutions with an opportunity to exit stocks in the three stressed groups," Doug Peta, BCA's chief U.S. investment strategist, writes in the note.

Updated Jul 10, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

South Carolina restaurants and bars will have to close alcohol sales by 11 p.m., beginning Saturday, under an order issued Friday by Gov. Henry McMaster.

The big picture: The U.S. had another record single-day spike of 63,200 new coronavirus cases from Thursday. COVID-19 cases in South Carolina have increased, with 21,560 cases recorded in the last two weeks.

The persistent racial disparities in U.S. energy expenses

Data: Energy Institute at HAAS; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Black renters and homeowners face substantially higher residential energy costs than white residents, and these persistent differences are present almost throughout the income scale, a working paper from the Energy Institute at the Haas Business School shows.

Why it matters: The research "contributes to a broad set of evidence that black Americans bear a disproportionate burden of the current energy system" evident in both pollution exposure and cost, writes Eva Lyubich, a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate in economics.