A Roadmap for Rates

Uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s timeline for tapering quantitative easing has resulted in increased volatility in fixed income markets. While the coming months could see the 10-year Treasury yield climb as high as 3.5 percent, the resulting economic slowdown will keep rates subdued in the medium-term.

July 02, 2013   |    By Scott Minerd, Global CIO


Recent volatility in the bond market is a direct result of investor reaction to recent statements by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The central bank’s stronger-than-expected economic projections and the implications for a faster tapering of quantitative easing caused the recent sell-off in U.S. Treasuries. In the near-term, a number of factors suggest that long-term rates can continue to climb higher. Whether valuing long-term rates by economic fundamentals, technical indicators or a number of other methods, our analysis suggests that the yield on 10-year Treasuries could rise above 3.25 percent by the end of the summer, to as high as 3.50 percent.

These higher rates are likely to be short lived, however. The housing market is already feeling the impact of higher mortgage rates and by August the full effect those rates have on housing affordability will begin to show up in economic data. Given the increasing importance of housing to the overall economic recovery, a drag on housing activity will undoubtedly hold back GDP growth. Once the economy begins to cool, lower interest rates will follow.

 

A Ceiling for 10-Year Treasury Yields

Historically, the spread between the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries and the federal funds target rate has never exceeded 400 basis points. As the U.S. Federal Reserve remains committed to keeping the federal funds rate unchanged in the 0-0.25 percent range for a considerable period of time, the current rally in 10-year Treasury yields is unlikely to push beyond 4 percent without a rate hike.

HISTORICAL SPREAD BETWEEN THE 10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD AND THE FEDERAL FUNDS TARGET RATE

CUMULATIVE NYSE ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE AND THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE

Source: Bloomberg, Guggenheim Investments. Data as of 6/30/2013.

Economic Data Releases

Recent Releases Solid in the U.S.

Positive Signs in Europe, Outlook Darkens in China

Important Notices and Disclosures

This article is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investing advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. This article contains opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Guggenheim Partners or its subsidiaries. The author’s opinions are subject to change without notice. Forward looking statements, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary and non-proprietary research and other sources. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not assured as to accuracy. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Guggenheim Partners, LLC. ©2014, Guggenheim Partners. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There is neither representation nor warranty as to the current accuracy of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information.


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