Treasuries Head South
Equities, gold and Treasuries fell in price today despite the ever-present melt up in Apple. The catalyst? FOMC minutes from the Fed indicating that QE3 would be unlikely going forward. While not as catastrophic as an actual change in interest rates, the move is significant because for the past year, the Street has bought equities and shunned fixed-income as a way to put capital to use.
Yields on the 10-year note and 30-year bond jumped significantly as prices fell with the 30-year dropping below $136.70. The safe haven play as well as commodities plays correlated to precious metals and in particular gold went out the window with a big sell off electronically and at the NYMEX, driving gold down 2% to $1647 an ounce.
Another issue at hand is the future of equities and risk on. With another round of quantitative easing out of the picture, the question is: is there enough confidence in the markets to support further buying of broad-based indices? Individual names that are strong like Apple and IBM continue to climb but it remains to be seen whether they can continue to be the primary growth driver vis-à-vis the Fed.
The drop in price of Treasuries is simple: dealers can no longer rely on buybacks from the Federal Reserve. And in turn, the U.S. dollar is finally beginning to strengthen against other currencies after years of depreciation.
“The Street is too loaded up in belly expecting more QE…silly,” Kevin Ferry, Managing Director at Cronus Futures Management, told Markets Media. “Spreads to IG and HY are still good so the economic impact is small. This shows peeps own Treasuries for one reason–they think they can sell ’em to Ben.”
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