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Exchange-Traded Junk Funds Roil Bond Market as Retirees Jump In

Funds that give everyone from retirees to institutional money managers easier access to junk bonds are fueling the biggest price swings in more than two years after their buying power surged 10-fold.

Exchange-traded funds that track high-yield bond indexes exceed $22 billion, up from about $2 billion three years ago. While that’s just 2 percent of the $1 trillion in U.S. corporate speculative-grade debt outstanding, ETFs are among the biggest holders of benchmark securities, including those of Las Vegas-based casino owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. and HCA Inc.