The blowout year for M&A just keeps getting bigger.
Mergers and acquisitions around the world hit a new monthly record in November, Dealogic reported this week. At the highest level since 2007, global M&A activity is marching toward a record year with $4.57 trillion in volume. Meanwhile, U.S. targeted M&A volume has reached a new year-to-date high of more than $2 trillion.
But according to some traders, the flurry of deals likely won't last much longer.
M&A has taken off in recent years, largely because low interest rates have made financing these deals cheap for companies. New records have also been led by fewer but bigger billion-dollar deals, such as the Pfizer-Allergan deal announced in November. At $160 billion, the transaction ranks as the second biggest deal in history.
Now, as the Federal Reserve comes closer to raising the benchmark federal funds rate, companies are "running for the door," said Todd Gordon of TradingAnalysis.com.
"I do feel like this is a top-out in M&A activity," Gordon said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "We'll see if stocks can weather it, but everyone's doing these deals on expectations of higher rates."
The Fed will meet Dec. 15-16 to reassess the possibility of raising rates. According to the CME's FedWatch Tool, 75 percent of traders expect to see a rate hike this month.
"Given the fact that we're going to have raising rates, that yields on the junk bond side are blowing out, and the economy seems to be slowing down a little bit. I think the chances of further deals may be actually diminishing rather than increasing going forward. We might be peaking," said Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management.
Schlossberg also expressed concern over disappointing initial public offerings this year, another indicator that the boom in deals may be tapped out.
"We've had a lot of busted IPOs, where they've been priced lower even in their VC round," he said. "I think that's a big warning sign to the deal flow as well.
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