Rieger Report®: Municipal v. US Treasury & Corporate Bonds

AAA Municipal Bond Yields v. US Treasury & Corporate Bond Yields

Mid-May munis coming back into demand as munis yields drop driving prices higher. However, Investment grade munis have still been outpaced from a YTD total return perspective by investment grade corporate bonds as concerns mount about the COVID-19 impact on state & local governments.

  • Muni yields remain relatively cheap when compared to U.S. Treasury bond yields. (An old school metric that has limited relevance in this market)
  • In the 1 – 5 year maturity range, AAA municipal bond yields remain cheap relative to corporate bonds when viewed from the taxable equivalent yield perspective. Out longer, high quality municipal bonds become pricey when viewed from the same lens.
  • AAA muni bonds yields v. the SPY 500 Dividend Yield show that as of now, the SPY dividend yield is well above muni yields. This is something to watch as dividend reporting evolves due to the pandemic.
  • Fund flows from ETF Action data shows that during the last 30 days over $480million has flowed into municipal bond ETFs while investment grade corporate bond ETFs have seen inflows of over $10billion.

Sources: IHS Markit (Municipal bond yields and bond prices & yields for Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation bond issues) and ETF Action. Chart is provided for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. TEY = Taxable Equivalent Yield at stated tax rate. Data as 5/15/2020.

AAA Municipal Bond Yields Relative to UST Yields & SPY Dividend Yield


Sources: IHS Markit (Municipal bond yields), SPDR and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Chart is provided for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Data as 5/152020 with exception of SPY Dividend yield which is as of 5/14/2020.

AAA Municipal Bond Yields v. Apple Inc. & Microsoft Corp. Bond Yields


Select Asset Class Total Returns & Yields Year-to-Date


Sources: iShares by BlackRock, SPDRs and Yahoo.com. Table is provided for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. TEY = Taxable Equivalent Yield calculated at assumed tax rate indicated. Data as 5/15/2020. 1SPDR yields as of 5/14/2020. S&P 500 ETF Yield is Dividend Yield.

Data Resources Used in this Report:


  • Taxable Equivalent Yield = Tax Exempt Yield / (1 – Federal Tax Rate)
  • 2020 tax brackets however, not all tax brackets are represented herein
  • End of day yields are used

Analyst Disclosure:

  • At the time of this writing, JR Rieger’s fixed income related holdings include investment grade individual municipal bonds, insured municipal bonds, a municipal bond money market fund and a position in the VanEck Vectors High-Yield Municipal Index ETF (HYD).

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