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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.

Go deeper

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.