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Chicago schools' $1 billion capital plan is short on particulars

July 10, 2018
The Bond Buyer

Performance Trust’s Brian Battle commented for The Bond Buyer on the Chicago public school district’s revised capital plan and why increased transparency around the details would ultimately benefit the district.

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Wall Street advances with help from technology, financials

July 2, 2018
Money Control

Performance Trust’s Brian Battle commented for Money Control on the recent stock rises due to technology sectors, reminding investors that the inconsistent White House messaging around the trade policy means an uncertain market.

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Chicago's choice for airport line is Boring and unconventional

June 15, 2018
The Bond Buyer

Performance Trust’s Brian Battle commented for the Bond Buyer on Chicago’s selection of Elon Musk’s The Boring Company for building a high-speed transit service between downtown and O’Hare International Airport—and what it means for the municipal market.

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Chicago Public Schools offer yield for investors willing to digest junk paper

May 15, 2018
The Bond Buyer

As Chicago Public Schools returns to the market next week, investors have some concerns regarding the district’s junk-status ratings and the possibility that its fiscal status threatens its long-term prospects. Performance Trust’s Brian Battle weighs in on CPS’s new fixed-rate, tax-exempt general obligation deal and how market conditions may affect its pricing.

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Wall Street erases losses after Trump quits Iran deal

May 8, 2018
Reuters

Now that President Trump has announced that he is pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, the markets are reacting to the news. Energy stocks in particular have rallied. Performance Trust’s Brian Battle comments on Trump’s actions and the possibility of an updated deal for the future.

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Illinois pays more to borrow as investors worry about state's prospects

April 25, 2018
The Bond Buyer

Illinois faced higher borrowing costs Wednesday compared to its previous bond sale. Although facing rising rates and fiscal woes, the state saw competitive bids on the initial release of $500 million in general obligation bonds. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the pricing and the market’s interest as we see a selloff in treasuries.

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Stocks and oil up, but US dollar slips amid ongoing geopolitical risk

April 8, 2018
Reuters

Stocks climbed in global markets on Monday while Wall Street faced a drop before close. This comes while the U.S. and China share political rhetoric of a trade war. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the upcoming speech from China President Xi Jinping.

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Court ruling tied to Illinois workers' pay adds to state's fiscal pain

April 2, 2018
The Bond Buyer

A court mandate on payroll expenses for state unions workers will add to the fiscal strains that Illinois is already facing. Moody’s was reluctant to downgrade Illinois into the speculative grading after the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear Governor Bruce Rauner’s appeal of an appellate court decision. Brian Battle commented on the decision, the fiscal shock to the state, and the rating companies’ reluctance to downgrade Illinois further at this time.

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Wall Street Tumbles on Tech Sector, Trade War Worries

April 2, 2018
New York Times

Wall Street plunged on Monday as trade war concerns sparked a selloff in a number of industries. Brian Battle of Performance Trust added more clarity to the selloff, detailing how the tech selloff encompassed more than the tech sector.

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The Finance 202: Trump tariffs threaten to unleash economic chaos

March 2, 2018
The Washington Post

The President’s comments of a trade war and steel tariffs sent shockwaves through the markets. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the reactions across markets and his outlook on global trade and global markets.

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Instant View: U.S. stocks stumble again, as bonds yields rise

February 8, 2018
Reuters

The U.S. benchmark 10-year treasury closed just under the highest level seen in four years, causing the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq to drop. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the volatility and what it means for certain securities.

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Instant View: Fed leaves rates unchanged, sees inflation firming

January 31, 2018
Reuters

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced today the plan to keep interest rates unchanged while also anticipating a rise in inflation. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the news and the hawkish tone that the Fed displayed in the meeting minutes.

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Rising Bond Yields Punish High-Dividend Stocks

January 30, 2018
Wall Street Journal

The market is now seeing rising bond yields compete with some of the biggest stock dividends, shifting the tone for investors. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the rise in yields and the opportunities investors see in fixed-income.

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New tax law colors marketing and demand for Chicago sales tax securitization

January 25, 2018
The Bond Buyer

Chicago’s new bond deal went through more hurdles than expected during the corporation’s second issuance. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the market’s reaction to the new issuance and the initial hesitation towards the new structure.

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Two-Year Treasury Yield Crosses 2% Threshold

January 12, 2018
Wall Street Journal

The yield for the 2-year Treasury note hit a milestone as it crossed above the 2% mark for the first time since 2008. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the benchmark yield and the lure it has for investors in this lower rate environment.

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Chicago's securitization bonds face another test of their market appeal

January 12, 2018
The Bond Buyer

Chicago’s Sales Tax Securitization Corp. bonds return to the market on Wednesday and are looking for a welcome reception after its December debut. Brian Battle of Performance Trust comments on the bonds and the expectations that the market has on the group.

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Wall St. rises with oil prices, earnings optimism

January 11, 2018
Reuters

Wall Street hit record highs on Thursday as Oil bolstered the energy sectors and investors prepared for strong earnings reports. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the outlook as Fed President William Dudley warned of the growth that may occur due to tax cuts.

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Wall Street closes at records with tax overhaul in sight

December 15, 2017
Reuters

Wall Street’s major indexes hit record highs on Friday as the tax bill made its way through Congress and looked like it would pass. Brian Battle of Performance Trust Capital Partners commented on the progress of the bill and the outlook on the final product. He also touched on the reactions we may see from the markets as they’ve prepared for a new policy.

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Chicago faces skeptics as it advances securitization plans

October 10, 2017
The Bond Buyer

Chicago is nearing approval from the City Council on its new securitization bonds. As they await potential approval on Mayor Emanuel’s ordinance to establish a special entity corporation, Performance Trust’s Brian Battle comments on the opportunity these bonds would represent for investors.

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The Corporate Debt Spigot Is Open

September 14, 2017
Wall Street Journal

Amazon led the way in corporate bond issuance in the month of August, adding $16 billion to a total of $86 billion that month. Our very own Andrew Pace commented on the news, the current rate environment, and what it means for issuers and investors.

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Illinois will act on $6 billion of GO authority for backlog

September 7, 2017
Bond Buyer

Illinois will move forward with general obligation (GO) borrowing to chip away at the state’s $15 billion backlog of delinquent bills. Brian Battle commented on the authorization of $6 billion in GO borrowing for fiscal year 2018. He also talked about where there might be interest in the market given the current circumstances of the state.

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U.S. stocks turn lower ahead of Jackson Hole meeting

August 24, 2017
MarketWatch

U.S. stocks erased the advance from earlier in the week, falling Thursday morning and extending the recent decline as traders await news out of Jackson Hole, WY. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the visible anticipation of the meeting of central bankers and the importance of the news that comes out of the meetings.

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Chicago investors fret after city showcases progress

August 15, 2017
Bond Buyer

Current affairs in Illinois have spurred mixed feelings with investors. Brian Battle of Performance Trust comments on the sentiment from Chicago’s Annual Investor Conference and where concern is stemming from. He also talks about what’s ahead for Chicago and Illinois.

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Bond Market Predicts Low Inflation

July 11, 2017
Wall Street Journal

Investors aren’t giving up on the best-performing Treasurys, a sign some believe the recent selloff could be short-lived. With falling bond prices, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note hit its highest since early May after reaching its year low on June 26th. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the current sentiment toward the market trends given the challenges Congress has faced to pass legislation.

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Chicago Board of Education pays a steep penalty to price bonds

July 10, 2017
Bond Buyer

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) doubled the size of its planned $250 million unrated general obligation bond deal Monday. With high yield buyers attracted by the rates and added security feature of the bonds, the school board authorized up to $500 million. Brian Battle commented on the news and the effects of the Illinois budget deal.

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Benchmark Yields Back in Charted Territory a Year After Record Low

July 7, 2017
Wall Street Journal

A year ago Saturday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield hit a record low, settling at 1.366% on July 8, 2016. While many at that time expected yields would continue to fall, yields have contradicted those expectations by bouncing back one year later. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the trend and the variables at play during the remainder of the year.

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Global Bonds Sell Off, Deepening Losses -- Update

July 6, 2017
Fox Business

Investors around the world reacted to news from the Eurozone, spurring a bond sell-off and anxiety toward central bank policy. U.S. Treasury bond yields closed at their highest levels since May 11. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the change in tune from the ECB and the visible trends from traders.

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Illinois spreads narrow as market awaits House veto override

July 6, 2017
Bond Buyer

Illinois lawmakers were rewarded on Wednesday as they took a step closer to finalizing a budget package. With the potential for a downgrade looming, Illinois government passed one hurdle, leading to spreads for Illinois obligations to tighten. Brian Battle of Performance Trust commented on the speculation in the market as lawmakers continue to meet.

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Weak Inflation Continues to Hold Down Bond Yields

July 2, 2017
Wall Street Journal

U.S. Government bond yields fell in the first half of the year and startled investors along the way. Brian Battle commented on current market sentiment and what might be necessary to shift the momentum of the market.

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It’s Not Just Stocks. Bonds Are Super Calm

June 27, 2017
Wall Street Journal

Stocks and bonds have recently been quiet. However, the expectations for volatility are increasing, as seen from today’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch MOVE Index number–the lowest reading since its record lows set in 2013. Andrew Pace comments on the potential pitfalls investors might face if they take excessive risks now.

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$70,000 a day in interest — the cost of another short-term CPS budget solution

June 27, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Under the terms of a new deal with JPMorgan, Chicago Public Schools will pay approximately $70,000 a day in interest on two new expensive loans they received on Monday. Brian Battle of performance Trust commented on the deal and the reasoning of the high interest rate for the loans.

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U.S. Government Bonds Strengthen on Drop in Durable Goods Orders

June 26, 2017
Wall Street Journal

Signs of tepid U.S. business spending added to concerns and led to long-term U.S. government bond yields closing at 2017 lows on Monday. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the concerns, investor complacency, and investor risk in the market.

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Illinois could be 1st state with ‘junk’ credit due to budget

June 24, 2017
Associated Press

Lawmakers met Saturday for a special legislative session as Illinois is on track to become the first state to have its credit ranking downgraded to junk status. Brian Battle commented on the alarming nature of the news, the discussions, and the potential costs for Illinois residents.

This article was also posted to Fox News, New York Times, ABC News, Japan Times, and CNBC.

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Chicago Public Schools pay high price for needed cash

June 20, 2017
Bond Buyer

In order to close its private placement of short-term state grant anticipation notes, Chicago Public Schools paid a punishing yield. Monday’s transaction will allow the district to meet its teachers’ pension payment obligations for the month of June. Brian Battle of Performance Trust shared his insight into the lending rate of the deal, and the factors that led to this deal.

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Rauner, schools play blame game as CPS takes out costly $275M loan

June 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

On Monday, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) closed an expensive deal to borrow cash which is needed to scrape through June and to pay out teacher pensions. Officials purchased $275 million in “grant anticipation notes,” a short-term loan, from JPMorgan. Brian Battle commented on the news and the relationship between CPS and JPMorgan.

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Spreads widen as market digests Illinois downgrades

June 2, 2017
Bond Buyer

Investors reacted as Illinois spreads widened after Thursday’s two downgrades. Investor confidence is waning as the state now has two ratings at the lowest investment grade level. Brian Battle commented on the news of the lowest rated bonds in the 44-year history of bond ratings for Illinois.

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Illinois budget inaction triggers new downgrades

June 1, 2017
Bond Buyer

Illinois is close to becoming the first state with a junk bond rating after two downgrades on Thursday. Illinois continues to reach historic lows in agency ratings for states as political turmoil continues at the state capital. Brian Battle comments on the downgrade and the signal being sent to Illinois’s government.

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U.S. Government Bonds Strengthen

May 30, 2017
Wall Street Journal

U.S. Government bonds strengthened after the holiday weekend and latest inflation report. With the recent report, investors expect the Fed will be slow in raising interest rates. Andrew Pace comments on inflation numbers, investor sentiment in the market, and the current behavior of yields.

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U.S. Government Bonds Pull Back

May 18, 2017
Wall Street Journal

U.S. government bonds pulled back on Thursday after the biggest rally of the year the previous day. Upbeat labor market and manufacturing data deflated concerns of the growth outlook, offsetting political uncertainty. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust commented on the market trends through this political climate and investors’ expectations compared to the reality.

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Bondholder’s Lament: You Used to Call Me (But No Longer)

May 12, 2017
Wall Street Journal

As rates have quickly risen in the market, fewer debt borrowers have taken advantage of the “call” provisions in some debt. Andrew Pace commented on the trend as the government called just $6.8 billion in debt in the first quarter of 2017, marking the lowest number since the April-to-June period of 2006.

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Puerto Rico's filing fuels speculation about Illinois

May 9, 2017
Bond Buyer

As Puerto Rico filed its Title III petition for bankruptcy relief, talk turned to Illinois and its likelihood of seeking a court-supervised forum. Illinois continues to grow its mounting debt as the state nears its’ second year without a budget. Brian Battle commented on the current affairs in the state and the likelihood of Illinois following Puerto Rico.

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U.S. April job gains rebound, unemployment drops to 4.4 percent

May 5, 2017
Reuters

The U.S. job growth rebounded in April and the unemployment percentage dropped to mark a near 10-year low. Brian Battle commented on the news and the overall expectations, as well as the outlook going forward.

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U.S. Government Bonds Strengthen Ahead of France Vote

April 21, 2017
Wall Street Journal

U.S Government bond prices gained ground ahead of the presidential election in France. Andrew Pace of Performance Trust shared his thoughts with the Wall Street Journal, commenting on the market’s anticipation ahead of the election, and the trends Performance Trust is seeing in bond prices and yields.

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Wall Street rally fizzles after Fed minutes

April 5, 2017
CNBC

U.S Stocks take a dramatic turn on Wednesday as meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve reveal a possible change in investment policy later in the year. The news reversed a strong rally that took place after a strong jobs report earlier in the day. Performance Trust’s Director of Trading, Brian Battle, comments on the news and cause of the market selloff.

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Why the Refinancing Slowdown Matters for the Fed

April 5, 2017
Wall Street Journal

The Federal Reserve has been purchasing fewer mortgage bonds in the last few months, which might shape Fed officials’ thinking as they consider shrinking their giant bond portfolio. Performance Trust’s Andrew Pace comments on this news and trends.

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Instant View: Republicans pull Obamacare repeal bill

March 24, 2017
Reuters

House Republicans pulled the American Health Care Act bill, their new healthcare-overhaul legislation, on Friday due to a shortage of votes within Congress. Brian Battle of Performance Trust comments on the news and the meaning of this move.

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GLOBAL-MARKETS-Stocks, dollar up on U.S. rate hike bets, Trump relief

March 1, 2017
CNBC

Treasury yields rise and Wall Street rallies, lifting the Dow above 21,000 for the first time ever as investors expect an interest rate hike in the future. Brian Battle of Performance Trust comments on the rally and the overall market sentiment that is leading the market in the current direction.

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One Group May Help the Fed Tighten Policy: Homeowners

February 21, 2017
Wall Street Journal

Federal Reserve officials are trying to determine how to unwind trillions of dollars on their balance sheet. As the Fed looks for answers, homeowners may be the group currently holding them. Performance Trust’s Andrew Pace shares his insight and analysis of this matter, and comments on the current market outlook.

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US STOCKS-Dow hits 20,000 as post-election rally roars back to life

January 25, 2017
Reuters

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new all-time high, trading above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, resuming a rally that began after the election of Donald Trump. The rally continued after Trump signed a number of executive orders the day before. Brian Battle of Performance Trust comments on Trump’s actions and the overall reaction of the market, as well as what action we may see in the upcoming weeks.

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Chicago Yield Penalties Steepen

Januray 19, 2017
Bond Buyer

Chicago reaches a new peak in spread penalties in the primary market when it priced a general obligation sale this Thursday. Brian Battle of Performance Trust shares his insight on this news and what it may mean.

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