Bonds: Treasuries

(New York)

The inverted yield curve has investors feeling down on their luck at the moment. What is the best way to play the turmoil and volatility? The answer may be in two seemingly unlikely places. The first is in energy ETFs, especially oil. Energy stocks have traditionally done very well during inverted yield curves, so an ETF like XLE seems like a good bet right now. Additionally, tech ETFs such as Vanguard’s VGT could be a good play, according to Bloomberg. Tech has often done well during inversions in the past.


FINSUM: Recommending a tech ETF right now is the height of contrarianism. Tech is basically caught in the middle of the trade war, and frankly, seems like a bad buy.

(New York)

Yields are really low, right? No! In fact, they are high. That is how investors may need to start thinking about yields. Everything we thought we knew from the last 50 years might be worthless now. The CIO of Northern Trust explains “I continue to be surprised by my fellow asset management professionals who think that the long-term norm for the 10-year U.S. Treasury should be closer to 4% or even 4.5% … This is just too high when you consider among other facts that there is $15 trillion invested the bond markets globally right now that is carrying a negative interest rate”. He continued “On the day of this discussion the Swiss 10-year is at negative 90 basis points, the German 10-year is trading at negative 56 basis points, and the Japanese 10-year is at minus 20 basis points … So, why would the U.S. 10-year trading at close to 1.5% or 1.75% seem low? It’s in fact unusually high in the global context”.


FINSUM: Maybe super “low” yields are the new normal, and we should think of the US’ yield level as abnormally high right now. It is hard to stomach and has enormous implications, but it may very well be the truth.

(New York)

The yield curve is sending increasing warnings that a recession is coming. While the three-month and ten-year yield has been inverted for months, a new inversion occurred yesterday, when the ten-year yield moved below the two-year yield. Even more eye-opening was that the 30-year bond yield fell to just 2.06%. That figure shows that investors have abandoned all fear of rising rates and all economic bullishness.


FINSUM: We don’t know whether to be more worried about a big correction in bonds, or that the economy may actually be as bad as bonds are suggesting! Either way things look bad.

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