US corporate credit spreads are narrowing, but they are still quite wide by historical standards. Investment grade spreads appear to be stabilizing while high yield (junk bond) spreads are still volatile. Yields premiums in both segments of the credit market have contracted by about half-way from their recent peak on March 23rd compared to their pre-pandemic levels. What we find interesting is that volatility persists in the high yield market given the Fed’s disclosure that they intend to purchase issues and instruments including ETFs within this credit market segment. The volatility is likely a signal that investors expect defaults, insolvencies and bankruptcies. What intrigues us is the potential for Fed purchases of ETFs, because the Fed could opt to receive the underlying bonds, hold them until maturity and absorb any resulting defaults. That would in effect support distressed companies and potentially preserve jobs. It may prove to be a novel way for the Fed to support the labor market using the balance sheet to honor its mandate for full employment. [chart courtesy Bloomberg LP © 2020]