It’s not normal. When a fixed-income sector beats the S&P 500 over an extended period and by a meaningful amount, investors do a double take.

Tobacco bonds, which represent nearly one quarter of the muni high-yield market, have outperformed stocks by 3% annualized over the past three years. That’s been largely because of demand for a liquid sector in a market where supply has been particularly limited. It’s been a wild ride. But wild rides are often bumpy, and this one has been no exception.