Treasury Department

Foreign buyers loaded up on U.S. stocks and sold Treasury bonds in July

The Treasury Department logo outside of the federal building
Photo: Alstair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

Major foreign investors added to their holdings of U.S. stocks but slightly cut their Treasury bonds in July, data from the Treasury department released Tuesday shows.

Of note: China reduced its share in July and foreign holders overall cut their Treasury holdings to $6.63 trillion. China has been gradually paring down its holdings for some time, but most analysts don't see the reduction as part of a strategy to dump Treasuries as a trade war weapon.

The biggest week for bond sales on record had perfect timing

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

U.S. companies issued $74 billion of investment-grade bonds this week, between Tuesday and Thursday, the most for any comparable period since records began in 1972, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. That nearly doubled the previous record of $40 billion set in 2013.

What happened: Issuers were able to sell into a historically thirsty market, with 30-year bonds from companies like Disney, Deere and Apple carrying record low coupons, and investment-grade bond yields dropping to a 3-year low of 2.77%.