Net outflows in high yield bonds of $2.5 billion over the last two weeks may be signaling investor angst about the fiscal cliff.
They may also simply reflect investor portfolio repositioning toward the end of the year.
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The outflows contrast against the record $69.5 billion inflows into the sector since the beginning of the year, making some analysts think the tide could be turning for high yield bond funds.
Investors typically move out of high yield bonds swiftly and intentionally. They may be uncomfortable with the speed and magnitude at which the asset class has attracted investor interest.
Some analysts disagree that the high-yield tide may be turning. There are few alternatives offering return in an historically low interest rate environment.
High yield bond funds have gained 12.3% so far in 2012 compared with a 4.2% gain for the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index.
With such significant and rapid gains, investors may be searching for the next area of value in the fixed income arena.