INTEREST RATE is the rate of interest charged for the use of money, usually expressed as an annual rate. The rate is derived by dividing the amount of interest by the amount of principal borrowed. For example, if a bank charged $100 a year to borrow $1,000, the interest rate would be 10%. Interest rates are quoted on bills, notes, bonds, credit cards and many kinds of consumer and business loans. Rates in general tend to rise with inflation and in response to the Federal Reserve raising key short-term rates. A rise in interest rates has a negative effect on the stock market because investors can get more competitive returns from buying newly issued bonds instead of stocks. It also hurts the secondary market for bonds because rates look less attractive compared to newer issues.
ACCRETION is the adjustment of the difference between the price of a bond purchased at an original discount and the par value of the bond; or, asset growth through internal growth, expansion or natural causes, e.g. the aging of wine or growth of timber/trees.
JUNK BOND is a bond with a speculative credit rating of BB or lower. Such bonds offer investors higher yields than bonds of financially sound companies. Two agencies, Standard & Poors and Moodys Investor Services, provide the rating systems for companies credit. See HIGH YIELD JUNK.
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