The combination of strong demand and relatively low borrowing costs has been a boon for the bond market in 2017. U.S. companies have sold $406.1 billion of high-grade debt so far this year, a record for any first quarter going back to at least 1995, according to Dealogic.
This is the third consecutive first quarter where investment grade corporate issues have set a record high. Global issuance of high-grade bonds, on the other hand, is just short of record levels, totaling $843.6 billion through March 30, versus $890.5 billion for the same period last year, and $896.7 billion for the full first quarter of 2016.
Several American companies have issued huge bond offerings this year. The biggest deals include Microsoft's $17 billion sale, Broadcom Corp.’s $13.6 billion sale, and Verizon Communications $11 billion offering.