Market Snapshot February 4, 2021

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Good Thursday AM,


I am out of the office this AM so am relying on two trustworthy resources for their insight (Dan Rawitch and Matt Graham). The good thing is that both agree: the recent sell off in bonds is likely setting us up for a strong rebound to lower rates.


Dan shared:


Bonds feel like Rocky Balboa during the first ten or eleven rounds with Apollo Creed. It is no mystery over the last few days as the favorable economic news just keeps coming. Oddly, at a certain point IF the ten year jumps much more, it will spark a MAJOR selloff in the equity markets, which in turn will spark a bond rally. And around and around it goes. I am not convinced we have found bottom on the MBS.


Matt is always a bit more wordy and shared:


This is a bit of a paradoxical outlook. In short, things have been consistently downbeat enough for the bond market that we’re due to see a friendly day or three in the near term future. Why is that? It has to do with the number of consecutive days that yields have moved higher. In the current case, it’s 6 in a row (unless we get a big, friendly reversal today).

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5-day streaks happen fairly often. 6 day streaks are less common. And probability drops off a cliff from there. After these streaks run their course, the result is at least a few days of sideways-to-lower yields. Sometimes the bounce is underwhelming, but other times it provides a material improvement.


Will it happen tomorrow though? That could be a tough sell with next week’s Treasury auctions looming. It could also depend on the outcome of the jobs report.


The bottom line is that the recent selling spree is probably the best possible set-up in terms of offering hope for bond market support. The major caveat is that “support” is under no obligation to last more than a few days based on this technical pattern.  Also, I’d feel a lot more optimistic about the next 4 days if traders weren’t feeling anxious about getting through a big round of Treasury auctions in the middle of next week.


Whatever happens, the next 6 trading days will provide a ton of information about whether the prevailing trend (the big, long-term drift toward higher yields) will… prevail, or whether we’ll see yields settle into more of a wide, sideways range of indecision as they wait to discover the longer-term impacts of Covid on the global economy.


Please remain safe and healthy, make today great.