The Credit Market Sees Things Differently

Both the absolute levels and the implied volatility of credit markets are significantly divergent from the recovering exuberance in stocks. As we discussed here and here, this cannot last. If you 'believe' that Bernanke was bluffing and the taper is off then credit is grossly cheaper than stocks; if not, equity shorts seem an appropriate position into Q3.


 


Easy Come, Easy Flow...



 


Which leaves equities 9-sigma rich to credit... (approximately 3x HYG to 1x SPY delta)



 


Of course, the fund flows are affecting credit (as we are constantly reminded on CNBC) and as we saw here, the selling pressure is dramatic; but - as we noted previously -





there is no rotation that drives high-yield credit spreads wider without punishing equities. They are liabilities on the same capital structure and rise and fall in a highly correlated (well non-linear co-dependence) manner as the underlying business risk rises and falls. Do not, repeat do not, see high yield credit weakness as a sign of rotation to stocks - if the credit cycle has turned then stocks are set to fall. And bear in mind that while HY yields are at all-time lows, spreads are not and in fact being short stocks relative to credit makes more sense if you are you are a bear on the credit cycle here. The only problem being that the epic flows that sustained a credit market at non-economic levels for so long will exit in a hurry.



Charts: Bloomberg and Barclays

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