Companies eagerly tapped the corporate-bond market Monday, offering more than $13 billion in new high-grade debt as they try to lock in interest rates that have been hovering near multidecade lows but may be moving higher.
Investment-grade borrowers, including General Electric Capital Corp. and Amgen Inc., acted as yields on 10-year Treasury notes, the benchmark for investment-grade corporate interest rates, rose to 2.753% Monday from 2.418% in late August.
"This recent move up in yields has people that were waiting on the sideline willing to jump into the pool," said Tom Murphy, portfolio manager at Columbia Management in Minneapolis, which has $169 billion in fixed-income assets under management.
Issuance was active in other sectors as well. After a pause of about three weeks, the consumer loan-backed securities market came roaring back Monday as companies announced more than $3.5 billion of new asset-backed bonds. In the speculative-grade, or junk-bond, market, companies sold $1.3 billion in longer-dated notes.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 43.23, or 1.9%, to 2285.71. The measure's four-day up streak is its longest winning stretch since the seven-day period that ended July 14. Microsoft led a charge among technology stocks. The software giant jumped 1.26, or 5.3%, to 25.11, following a report that the company is planning to sell some of its debt in order to pay dividends to shareholders and finance a buyback of its own stock, according to Bloomberg Television.