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Posts Tagged ‘bond market trend’

They Are All Markets

December 15th, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

Well, so much for Top of Tops. Last month’s market call that both bonds and stocks were headed lower, proved premature. The September-October bond market decline failed to gather downward momentum while stocks added another leg upward.

While 1,000 Dow points isn’t what it used to be (lately about 4%, whereas 10% or more in years of yore), it is still 1,000 points. For me, a 1,000 points of wrong, but that’s the way markets can behave.

Take Bitcoin, everyone’s favorite (new) subject. In what appeared to be a  frothy, over-extended market, Bitcoin merely added another fifty percent.  And that was just last week!

Does one have to do with the other? Can the frothiness of Bitcoin and the added leg up in stocks or the pause in the bond bear market be related? Yes, they are all related: they are all markets. (more…)

Top of Tops

November 6th, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

Relish in all of the good news? Certainly you must be joking? All-time highs for stocks and bond yields seemingly at low-forever yields (meaning high forever prices) and I want to rain on this parade? In a word, just one word, yes!

The reason why I have been keeping you apprised of the albeit slow changes in the bond market is because the trend change is beyond important: it is generational. Who knew that the next and most impactful move in the bond market would also occur at the all-time high for stock prices?

We have been keeping score vis-à-vis the ten year US Treasury note. Indeed the note did hit a low of 2.01% on September 8th and yields hit 2.47% on October 27th. Not the radical change I had predicted last month, but not bad and moving in the right direction.

I am focused on bonds and the bond market as reflected by yields on the ten year treasury. We can also look at the bellwether thirty year which should be at a low here at 2.85% up from 2.63% on September 8th. These low yields certainly fit the narrative of low yields. They will not remain low for much longer; certainly not forever. (more…)

The Plan Unfolds

July 13th, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

It has been twelve months since the end of the hockey-sticked shape mania of long-term bond prices. Markets don’t trend in straight lines, so over the past twelve months I have used this letter to help you navigate where we are on the journey towards a collapse in long-term bond prices.

The July 2017 letter called the top in long-term bond pricing while subsequent letters followed the initial move to December lows and last month’s call that the correction was over. After a correction price high on June 12th, long-term bonds have declined in price for the past twelve trading days (as of the writing of this letter).

Of course it may be better to be lucky than good, but I will accept any good fortune that comes our way. This letter provides me the opportunity to put forth my opinion, however much in the minority it may be, and I intend to take the opportunity because I believe it is quite important when a collapse in the long-term bond market is involved. (more…)

Capitulation

June 14th, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

It is not often that followers of the all-too-staid bond markets get to use the word capitulation. Usually things don’t move fast enough (or far enough) to warrant the use of the word. We, however, having declared the end of a three decades long trend, see a significant change taking place.

We marked late 2012 as the end of the bull market in Bonds, though the hockey-stick final mania in the longest maturing bonds didn’t occur until last spring, culminating July 6, 2016. Shorter term bond yields had risen since 2012 while the 10 year US Treasury bottomed at 1.32%, a significant turning point in trend.

The second half of 2016 saw yields spike to 2.64%, such that by year-end (December 2016 Letter) we called for a correction of this first move in the long-term bear market for long-term bonds. Indeed yields moderated back down to 2.13% early in June. So far so good and right along our projected path.

Which brings us to today. Actually it was a June 9th Bloomberg headline that used Capitulation, saying “Investors betting on rising bond yields just threw in the towel in a big way, according to Bank of America.” Citing the “biggest inflows to bonds in well over two years”, BofA concluded the performance of credit equities are “highly correlated.” (more…)

Lines In The Sand

January 19th, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

On January 10th, Big Bill Gross the Bond King, drew his line in the sand referencing the ten year treasury yield at 2.60%. If the ten year yield goes above 2.60% this year, said Big Bill, the bear bull market would be on and its effects on the stock market would be felt.

Now you tell us Bill. After a historic first half of 2016 which gave us the final throes of a mania in Bonds, we experienced  a historic sell-off in the second half with yields doubling from July to December in ten year yields. Indeed, the bear market for bonds has not only begun but, depending on maturity horizon, has been in place since 2012.

With the stock market continuing its version of the Bonds final mania, Big Bill probably also knows that nobody cares. Off his throne at PIMCO, Big Bill probably needed to reference stocks in his bond bear market call for relevance sake.

Until the mania in stocks ends, and like the long bull market in bonds, it will end, no one will probably care, or notice, the bond market. Investors in stocks are making money just by owning stocks, not by listening or following experts like Big Bill. (more…)

The Wait Is Over

December 7th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

I love it when a plan comes together. The August letter, First Bonds, Now Stocks, could not have been more spot on. The latest rally in Bonds began to reverse in July and it appears the first move towards a Bond Bear Market is now in place. And indeed the excitement the markets reserved for Bonds earlier this year did indeed move to Stocks with a recent exclamation point capping a three thousand point move up in the Dow that began in February.

For those of you reading the press clippings of these latest moves, please remember the narratives are worthless. Trends do not extend forever and long-time readers of this letter know I have been preparing for a change in the long-term trends of Stocks and Bonds for some time.

My excitement that my long wait may finally be over is based on the excitement both the Stock and Bond markets registered in 2016. Soaring prices, plunging and even negative yields, characterized the Bond market all spring long. Prices topped (and yields bottomed) in July with the bellwether thirty year US Treasury bond at 2.08%; by the first of December it was over 3.08%, an almost 50% jump in yield and 19% plunge in price. (more…)

Thankfully, You Own Municipals

September 9th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

While interest rates may appear they will be low, perhaps forever, we are always encouraged when we look back over the past months and years and discover we’ve actually fared well. Municipals are indeed unique and that is why we can continue to scratch and claw, but most importantly make headway by investing in them.

Bonds, particularly municipal bonds have participated in a multi-month rally that was over-extended months ago. As a consequence, we believed stocks would also rally, continuing the tandem performance that has been a hallmark of the financial markets these past thirty-plus years.

Indeed the major stock averages have set many new all-time high marks this summer. Stocks may have a few more months to rally, but the bond rally may be over.  As conviction and certainty for low rates (forever) continued, the bond market appears to have made a top in price that may stand for many, many years. (more…)

Blessed Are Municipals

April 11th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Rare is my newsletter with good things to say.  How about “it is good to be an investor in municipal bonds!”  As I wrote several months back, municipals were one of the top performing sectors last year.  Now we are going to discover how long the ride may be.

I am not recanting my position that Bonds peaked in price (bottomed in yield) way back in 2012.  I stand by my position.  But after a quick swoon in 2013, municipal bond prices have been rising and have remained quite firm (low volatility) as they have made their way back towards the highs of 2012.

Low volatility and rising prices…in this market!?  This is certainly a recipe for those not familiar with municipal bonds to get acquainted.  Municipals appear to be a bright spot, not only in the fixed income markets, but in investing in general. (more…)

Another Step Closer

March 3rd, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Markets go up and markets go down.  We all know this.  We should also know that we are fortunate to live in an era in which markets have trended higher for decades.  Unfortunately we now live in an age of asset bubbles with the largest bubbles of all, Stocks and Bonds, on the verge of a massive popping.

We have watched the popping of two asset bubbles over the past several years: According to Bloomberg, Precious Metals (Gold & Silver) and Oil.  Gold peaked in September 2011 at $1920 an ounce, falling 45% over the following four years to a $1046 low.  Silver almost touched $50 an ounce for the second time in its history and sold off to below $14.  Oil peaked at $147 in 2008 but sold at $107 just nineteen months ago and below $27 last month.  Markets do go up and down, but in today’s age of asset bubbles, one must be ever mindful of the tremendous downside risks that exist. (more…)

What? Municipals on Top?!

January 15th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Happy New Year!  Municipal bonds were one of the best performing asset classes for 2015*.  That doesn’t happen often (ever?)!  Municipal bonds didn’t post stellar returns but compared to the sub-par performance of almost every other asset class, municipal bonds came out on top.

Obviously we don’t invest in municipal bonds because we think they will be the top performing asset class each year.  We like the income, particularly tax-free income.  Municipal bonds may not have the sex appeal of other, perhaps higher yielding investments but they also do not have some of the risks.  In this era of low (to no) interest rates we have seen others chasing yields in all kinds of asset classes from master limited partnerships (MLPs) to high yield junk bonds and even in higher dividend stocks.

2015 saw some investments for yield really take it on the chin.  According to The Alerian MLP Index, Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) as an asset class lost about forty percent of their value last year.**  Forty percent is enough to whack off many years of projected income and price fluctuation is but one of the risks associated with MLPs.  Sure the yield (income) investors were hoping to grab is still there…unless the MLP cuts the dividend rate, another risk associated with MLPs.  No doubt MLPs performed well for many years prior to 2015, but then, bam, the trend moves in another direction leaving MLP investors to try and salvage their investment. (more…)

NEWS FEED

The $247 trillion global debt bomb washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-2…