A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk dropped the most in more than a year as lawmakers passed a budget deal averting tax increases for most wage earners in the world’s biggest economy.
The Markit CDX North American Investment Grade Index, a credit-default swaps benchmark that investors use to hedge against losses or to speculate on creditworthiness, dropped 8 basis points to a mid-price of 86.5 basis points at 8:13 a.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest intraday plunge since Nov. 30, 2011.
President Barack Obama said he will sign into law the bill passed by the U.S. House just after 11 p.m. yesterday in Washington, undoing tax increases for more than 99 percent of households that took effect with the new year. The U.S. economic expansion probably will be crimped without being halted by the deal, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., easing concern that the world’s largest economy may tumble into a recession, hindering companies’ ability to repay debt.
The credit-swaps index typically falls as investor confidence improves and rises as it deteriorates. The contracts pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, less the value of the defaulted debt. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.
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