Bonds Make History

While stocks are getting all the attention lately, bonds are making history. Well, one bond ETF is. ๐Ÿ‘€

Vanguard’s Total Bond Market ETF ($BND) is the first bond exchange-traded fund to cross $100 billion in assets under management (AUM). That’s despite a massive bond rout over the last eighteen months, where prices have been pummelled in the face of higher interest rates.

However, two of this year’s biggest trends benefited the fund. The first is that investors flocked to fixed income’s higher yields, causing inflows to various fixed-income-related products like bond ETFs. Additionally, the move away from the mutual fund structures to lower-cost (and more tax-efficient) exchange-traded funds continued. ๐Ÿ“Š

The combination of these trends caused $BND to absorb $15.6 billion in net assets this year, helping it achieve this record milestone. After all, offering over 18,000 bonds for three basis points is a pretty attractive offer, especially for passive, weatherproof investor strategies.ย 

Analysts expect this trend to continue, given the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF ($AGG) is close behind with $96 billion in assets. We’re not sure what the point of this story is other than highlighting a cool milestone for this less-widely-followed market. Between this and bonds’ spectacularย rebound in November, “boring” investors have something to celebrate this weekend. ๐Ÿฅณ

DWAC Bounces Back (Again)

We mentioned last week that investors were preparing for a politically driven 2024, and boy, that accelerated quickly. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Trump-linked stocks Digital World Acquisition Corp, Phunware, and Rumble jumped sharply today after Ron DeSantis canceled his presidential run.

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Japan’s Nippon Takes Over U.S. Steel

After months of bidding, U.S. Steel finally has a buyer. However, the auction’s winner has some parties concerned. ๐Ÿค”

Japan’s Nippon Steel emerged as the top bidder for the 122-year-old steelmaker, beating out offers from Cleveland-Cliffs, ArcelorMittal, and Nucor. Its $55 per share price represents a 142% premium to where $X shares were trading before Cleveland-Cliffs’ $35-per-share offer kicked off the bidding war.

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A Chip Off The Holiday News Flow

It’s a slow week in the market, but as usual, there’s some news out of the semiconductor space. Let’s take a look. ๐Ÿ‘€

First up is Israel granting Intel $3.2 billion to support the company’s biggest investment in the country. Intel will not only build a $25 billion factory that creates thousands of jobs but will also buy $16.6 billion in goods and services from Israeli suppliers over the next decade. It is anticipated that the plant will open in 2028 and operate through at least 2035. ๐Ÿญ

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Plug Power Is Charged Up

Plug Power hasn’t given investors much to be excited about over the last few years, but today’s news has people (and its stock price) charged up again. So let’s see what happened. ๐Ÿ‘‡

The alternative-energy company, which provides hydrogen fuel cell technology, finalized a deal with the Department of Energy (DOE) for a $1.6 billion loan facility. This critical funding comes at a time when the company has faced immense liquidity issues, issuing a going-corn warning last quarter and disclosing a secondary share offering of up to $1 billion. ๐Ÿ’ธ

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