Updated from 3:26 p.m. ESTWhile analysts and investors debate whether the recent rally is sustainable, a host of companies seized the opportunity to raise cash by offering stock and debt to the public. After almost grinding to a halt this summer, the IPO and follow-on markets have been invigorated this month, with 46 issues debuting so far, according to Dealogic. That's the highest number since June, when 79 deals were sold. Just this past week, a bevy of new stock sales were priced, with IPOs coming from Safety Insurance Group ( SAFT), restaurant chain Cosi ( COSI) and Impac Medical ( IMPC). Meanwhile, Macerich Co. ( MAC), Great Plains Energy ( GXP), Myriad Genetics ( MYGN) and a slew of other firms embarked on secondary offerings in a sign that demand may finally be picking up.
"There's tremendous demand largely because of a large build-up of cash at pension funds and other firms," said Peter Palfrey, portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co. in Boston. "Things got so oversold." Still, Palfrey said he expects the credit market to all but shut down next week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, and he doesn't expect it to pick up again until after Christmas. While Palfrey thinks the worst of the selling may now be over, other analysts aren't convinced that the environment for new issues is really starting to improve.