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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

AT&T in talks with Discovery to combine media assets

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T is in talks with media giant Discovery about merging its media assets, like CNN, TBS and TNT, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: A potential merger could allow AT&T and Discovery to better compete with entertainment giants like Disney and Netflix in the video streaming wars.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Franklin Graham worries Trump too old to run in 2024

Graham and Trump at a rally in 2017. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would "be a very tough thing to do," the prominent Christian leader told "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, was among Trump's earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders.

4 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Cameo CEO says he would let Trump join platform

Cameo CEO Steven Galanis doesn't want the app he built to be used explicitly for politics, but said he would allow former President Trump on the platform.

  • "Trump has done nothing on our platform to violate our terms of service," Galanis says in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Sunday.

Why it matters: Cameo's approach is different than some of its Big Tech peers.