A Bond Blowout Might Be Coming

The ten-year Treasury yield has risen to its highest level since March, reports a recent Wall Street Journal article, and bond guru Bill Gross says, “the move confirms a bear market.”

“For some,” the article asserts, “the high of 2017, at around 2.63%, is a key level to watch for whether yields move higher still; for others, the move has already broken out of a downward channel for yields that has persisted for more than 25 years. That implies big changes.”

Inflation poses a threat, the article says, noting that it undershot expectations in 2017 but is anticipated by one measure (the “five-year, five-year forward”) to hit 2.13%, “it’s highest since April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.”

The other factor to keep an eye on, the article argues, is central bank communication. “So far,” it says, “central bankers have been extremely gradual in signaling the end of easy-money policies. But if investors swing to believing policy might be tightened further and more rapidly than expected, that would be another blow for bonds.”

On the flip side, says WSJ, a weakened equity market “might generate support for bonds, particularly given widespread concerns about stock valuations.”