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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors have been fleeing high-yield corporate bonds for the relative safety of Treasurys, a sign that other risky assets like stocks could continue to decline as well.

iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond (HYG) - Get iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF Report  is down nearly 4% over the past month, while iShares Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury Bond (IEI) - Get iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF Report  spiked to yearly highs. The divergence of the credit spread, seen in the chart below, comes amid a 7% decline in the broad market SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) - Get SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust Report and an 11% drop in small cap index iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) - Get iShares Russell 2000 ETF Report .

This widening credit spread usually signals that investors are pulling out of riskier assets.

Data provided by the Federal Reserve

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In August, the credit spread began to widen as economic growth increased, leading to uncertainty over what would happen when the Federal Reserve's stimulus program ended in October.

Now that the Fed's bond-buying program is on its last leg, worries that interest rates will start rising next year have become even more magnified, leading the spread to widen to its highest level in 2014. If investors continue to flee riskier assets such as high yield credit and small cap stocks, the broader market likely won't return to its recent highs for the rest of this year.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of thestocksmentioned, although positions may change at any time.


This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.