The US Treasury yield curve has plunged further today (2s10s -5bps at 107bps) breaking to its flattest since January 2008. The curve has been flattening since The Fed began to taper QE3 and as financials begin to catch down to that ugly reality, one wonders just what The Fed can do about this...
Some people say that gold is dead. They point to deflationary pressures and a bear market that started back in September of 2011. The bulls have been wrong for years; however, that may be about to change…
"Before investors sell 10s, they need the Fed to pause... The curve flattens into March 2s10s with risk off market dynamics and an increasing probability of relent, followed by bear steepening after a Fed pause. Rates could then stabilize or decline, depending on whether recession is avoided or at least postponed."
Santelli Thanks Plunge Protection Team As Bond Bloodbath Sparks Buying Frenzy In Stocks & CommoditiesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/29/2015 17:34 -0500
This was not supposed to happen. The spread between the 2Y Treasury yield (which is soaring 7bps today) and 10Y (higher by 3bps) has plunged back below 120bps. The current cliff-edge has been support for the curve four times in the last 8 years but with GC rates blowing out to 7 year highs, one wonders if the size of the moves means we break to new regime lows.
We have never, ever, seen the long- and short-end of the Treasury yield curve so anti-correlated.
the major story for us right now is that the broad concept incorporated in “Exter’s Pyramid” is in operation. This something we mentioned in Autumn last year and it’s occurring across currency and credit markets and, to some extent, in equities. To recap, John Exter (a former Fed official, ironically) thought of the post-Bretton Woods financial system as an inverted pyramid resting on its apex, emphasizing its inherent instability compared with a pyramid resting on its base. Within the pyramid are layers representing different asset classes, from the most risky at the top down to the least risky at the bottom. He foresaw a situation where capital would progressively flow from the top layers of the pyramid towards the bottom layers. “…creditors in the debt pyramid will move down the pyramid out of the most illiquid debtors at the top of the pyramid…Creditors will try to get out of those weak debtors & go down the debt pyramid, to the very bottom."
It would seem that the day after Tuesday is not Tuesday... and so stocks sold off. The Russell 2000 is now 3% off its Monday highs, comfortably red for the week, and back below its crucial 200day moving-average. The Nasdaq is also down with the 50DMA crossing death-like below the 100DMA. Of course, it is the "you can't trust the signals" bond market that is making the real headlines as 10Y yields slump to fresh 7-month lows breaking notable support. The USD leaked lower on the day (but USDJPY was stable under 102) as ECB talked back some of the recent EUR losses. Commodities all pushed higher with silver up over 3% onthe week, gold back over $1305, and WTI over $102. VIX pumped-and-dumped at the open but could not sustain weakness as 330RAMP saw VIX's slam unable to drag stocks notably higher.
While the auction overall was not fireworky just yet, a few more "dots" fiascoes and suddenly the short end of the curve is going to get a whole lot more interesting. And should European idiot asset managers, once they have taken the Spanish 10 Year to 0%, decide to bid up US paper, and inverted the 2s10s, well that is the time to quiet get out of dodge.
The short-end of the Treasury curve continues to reprice higher in yield (3Y +2bps) as the term structure bear-flattens with 30Y yields rallying further after the aggressive 7Y auction. 30Y yields just broke below 3.5% (-4.5bps) - the lowest level intraday since early July 2013. 2s10s are now at 2.21% - near 10-month lows - and 5s30s has plunged to 1.80% - its flattest since September 2009.
It would appear the BFTATH mentaility has morphed into a BTFICBMD perspective as the "market" shrugs off an 'apparently expected' ICBM launch to soar to new record highs with the best day in stocks for months (if not years). USDJPY was in charge intraday as 102 was flushed through (with JPY's biggest drop in 2 months) and dragged stocks (led by the "most-shorted") non-stop. Equity volumes were 20-30% below yesterday's. The USD was relatively unmoved on the day (modestly higher oddly on a risk-on day). Gold and oil prices slipped (but remain in the green on the week) as Silver slipped into the red. Copper rallied. Treasury yields surged 6-8bps (the biggest jump in 4 months) as 2s10s steepened 6bps. VIX was cracked 2 vols lower to 14%. The S&P closed at 1873, just 27 points shy of Goldman's 2014 year-end target.
The Nasdaq plunged by the most in over 8 months today and broke all the way back to unchanged from the December taper decision of the Fed. All major US equity indices are now negative from the time the Fed decided to slow its flow of free money. The Dow closed below its 200DMA for the first time since December 2012. The S&P 500 closed the furthest below its 100DMA since QE3 started. USDJPY was in charge and everything was higher or lower beta off of that as it broke 102 early then 101 later in the day (with the Nikkei -700 points from the day's highs). Treasuries rallied around 5bps to fresh 7-month low yields for 30Y. Gold and Silver surged, adding 1% on the day as the USD lost 0.25% on the day (led by the 1% strength in the JPY). VIX smashed to 14 month highs over 21%. Credit deteriorated but stocks are catching down.
JPY crosses were in charge of stocks again today - and not in a good way - as a sideways market gave way to weakness late on as Goldman released part two of their market-bashing research. With the dramatic help of AXP and V (78 of the Dow's 41 points!), the Dow was the only index green today and managed to close just green on the week. Since the taper, Homebuilders have tumbled from heroes to almost zeroes (+1.5% from +6.5% at year-end in spite of the big drop in TSY yields in recent weeks) with Healthcare outperforming (+5.5%). Away from stocks, things were also escalating rapidly this afternoon. Treasury yields limped lower all day then dropped notably starting around 1445ET with 30Y -5bps on the week (and 5s30s at 212bps - the flattest term structure in 4 months). The USD rose on the day (up 0.75% on the week) led by EUR weakness (JPY was relatively stable). Despite the USD strength, gold and silver closed green on the week (+0.25% and+0.7% respectively) but WTI crude led the way up 1.5% on the week at $94.10. Despite valiant efforts to VIX-slam the market higher into the close, the S&P closed red and VIX +0.6vols higher on the week at 12.7%