The ugliest year ever for U.S. corporate-bond investors is expected to get uglier—and the Federal Reserve is to blame. That's according to the MLIV Pulse survey, whose respondents included 707 investment professionals and individual investors.

With the central bank raising interest rates at the fastest pace in decades, nearly three-quarters of the survey's respondents said that tighter monetary policy is the biggest risk facing the corporate-debt market. Just 27 percent are more concerned that corporate bankruptcies will pile up over the next six months.

The results underscore the bittersweet outlook for fixed-income investors that were hit during the first half of the year with the deepest losses since at least the early 1970s.

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